Category Archives: conditioning

The 12 Days of Fitness

This is meant to be done every day for the next 12 days, including today and just like the song, adding in moves each day. For example, you’ll start with the 1-minute plank today (you can split it into 6 rounds of 10 seconds on, 3 seconds rest if you’d like) and then tomorrow, you’ll do 2 pushups plus the plank. It’s a great chance to get a strength/cardio blast and increase power for future muscle-burning activities.

12 sumo burpees
11 weighted squats
10 overhead presses
9 lateral lunges (each side)
8 bicep curls
7 tricep dips
6 pull-ups
5 frog crunches
4 toe touches (each side)
3 mountain climbers (each side)
2 pushups
1-minute Dolphin plank (can be 6 rounds of 10 seconds up, rest for 3 seconds)

Let’s have strong bodies, strong minds, and strong hearts going into 2013! This is a routine passed on from Gina at The Fitnessista, the original post is here. You can even sing the song as you go! I know I will… Don’t forget to stretch, yogis! Challenge yourself! I’ll check in with you on day 12.

DAY 1!

DAY 1!

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Run Yogi Run

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I’ve been running lately. I know many of you are very passionate about it, but I can’t honestly say I enjoy it, yet. I began running to train for an event next year, the Warrior Dash, a 5k with many cool obstacles along the way. But what is bringing me back to running my three mile loop 3ish times a week is getting out of my comfort zone, enriching muscles in my body that may be otherwise neglected, and getting into the rhythm of my feet. Doing yoga, Hot Power Vinyasa specifically, has helped my endurance and strength so much. I cannot say enough about the benefits of this practice, I was shocked when I first went for a run and went 3 miles! This confirms something I truly believe- Whatever you do, yoga makes you do it better.

I follow many bloggers who are experienced runners. It is an empowering form of moving meditation. Stay tuned for some simple yoga moves for runners, don’t skip your stretching!

Does anyone have any tips for a yogi starting out on her running journey?

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Defy Gravity

Yesterday I tried aerial conditioning at Lab5 Fitness in Capitol Hill. I was excited, this is a new thing not many places offer. Basically you perform core strengthening moves supported by long, non-stretchy straps suspended from the ceiling. This intensifies a lot of regular exercises. For instance, doing a crunch with the strap on your sacrum leaning back forces you to lift about 60% of your body weight as opposed to a normal crunch’s 30%.

It’s a difficult learning curve, so I think the second class would feel much more like a typical workout as opposed to experimentation. In yoga, we learn to trust our limbs. Our arms holding us up in handstand, our leg balancing us in warrior III. Trusting the extra appendage was difficult for me. Even though the teacher insisted it could hold up to 3,000 lbs, it was hard to fight my natural instincts and put trust in this accessory.

My favorite part of class was being upside down, shown here, you lean back with the strap around your sacrum and wind your legs above you. In this position, even the smallest movements are challenging because you are supporting the weight of your entire upper body. It was amazing to do wheel and bow pose with the strap holding you, you could really see the range of motion in your spine without having to hold yourself up.

In the end, we ‘cocooned’ ourselves for a five minute savasana. It was amazing, your own little microcosm, rocking you gently back and forth. It was fun and different, if it’s available in your city give it a try. Be fearless!

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Fall Studio Reviews

Hello yogis, friends, and the rest of the interweb,

I have been doing TONS of classes in Seattle recently and wanted to share my reviews incase any of you locals would care to try some new fun stuff.

*FlyWheel/FlyBarre – south lake union

*Pure Barre – queen anne

Samadhi Yoga –capitol hill

8 Limbs  – capitol hill

*5Focus Studio –south lake union

*First class free!

I’m having so much fun trying places out, and there’s more to come!

All reviews here-seattle-portland-los angeles-new york

ON DECK: Lab5 Fitness, Corepower Yoga, Live Love Flow, and Inspire Pilates.

Want to get your studio reviewed or change my mind about one? I’d love to hear from you! Get to me at littlewindmillyoga@gmail.com

 

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Asana of the Week: Flip Your Dog!

Flippin’ the dog

I couldn’t find a specific Sanskrit name for this, but I believe it’s a variation of Camatkarasana or ‘wild thing’ pose. A beautiful heart opener and upside-down-dog. I fully intend to bring this into a full wheel some day…

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get out of your own way

I’m talking about hang-ups. Excuses you tell yourself so you can get out of things that make you uncomfortable. Yoga starts when things get uncomfortable.

My autumn goals:

Don’t ever be afraid of falling in class. Practice headstand, crow, and arm balances without worrying about falling on your face. Everyone falls.

Fuel correctly, get enough water. You know what’s good for you…fruit, vegetables, protein and lots of water.

Take care of yourself.

Don’t push it. Take out the struggle, take out the frustration and breathe, on and off the mat.

No day but today. No more ‘I’ll do it tomorrow’s.’ Nobody was ever proud about how long they procrastinated something.

If you don’t like something about your life, change it. Let g0 of what does not serve you and does not support your dreams.

Why I set goals:

“Happy people continuously change; and because they change they become more and more happy; and then more and more change is possible.” – Osho

On a different note- A big high five to everyone who participated in the 2012 Yoga Aide Challenge!

I’d love to hear some of your autumn goals! Feel free to share!

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Yoga for Cyclists

On Sunday my father and I went to a “yoga for cyclists” seminar hosted by teacher Kelli Refer from The Grinning Yogi in Seattle. I do not cycle, but my retired father rides every day, about 100 miles a week, sometimes more.

One thing I know for sure- whatever you do, yoga makes you do it better. So, I dragged him to the seminar, thinking something catered to cyclists would be a better time for a somewhat inexperienced yogi.

It was a great seminar, it was obvious the girl leading it had spent much time and energy writing and illustrating a book of yoga poses and breathing techniques for a cyclist.

Everything was very appropriate for the typical cyclist- there were sequences for 2 minutes and 5 minutes. Modified half sun salutations, quads, heart openers, and hips were emphasized.

At the end I asked what two stretches would be the best to do. I couldn’t imagine my father in our garage busting out sun salutations. She decided on a modified ‘wing pose’ and a modified dancer’s pose. My very favorite stretch was a super intense quad stretch we did by placing our shin flush to the wall and bending the opposite knee.

We all left with a poster and information sheet to refer to.

Kelli’s official Yoga for Bikers blog is here.

Buy a copy of Pedal, Stretch, Breathe here.

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Asana of the week: plow

Hala Asana! Working on getting my back straighter

Hala-Asana

Since the past few weeks have been dominated by discussion of power moves and invigorating flows, I decided to select an asana that just feels damn good.

I love plow. I love how it’s normally towards the end of a class so you can tell you’ve crossed the desert and are almost to the promised land of savasana.

There are so many good things going on here:

Jalandhara bandha. Also known as the chin lock, which stimulates your thyroid and metabolism as you press your chin to your chest.

Spine therapy. An amazing, elongating stretch through your back and spine as gravity opens you up.

Inversion. The benefits of inversions are amazing from increased circulation to feeling sharper mentally. A post about them here!

I like to bring my hands to my toes at first, breathe and relax into it. Then I bring my arms to my sides and bind my hands behind my body; compressing my neck to my chest like crazy. A step by step guide to plow pose here.

Watch it. Women on their mentrual cycles should not do plow pose. I don’t know why, I’ve just been told this by many teachers. Anyone know why?

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Arm Balances I

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Oh, arm balances. An amazing use of arms, core, and balance. But mostly they just look really cool.

I probably, apart from a vinyasa flow, practice arm balances more than anything at home. That’s where I perfected crow pose, crane pose, side crow, and this side crow with extended legs that I’ve learned is one of the koundinyasanas. It’s too sweaty to really focus during hot yoga and no fun to fall on your face during class.

I love the strength I feel doing a good crow pose in class. I have limited experience with these, but am eager to learn more. Any tips?

My tips:

-Keep your core really strong and sucked up into your spine. Over compensate and freeze this way.

-Think about the shape that your body is in for balance. If your legs are going to the left, you’re going to have to lean to the right to even out.

-Keep the creases of your elbows strongly turned forward and finger-tips gripping the ground to protect your wrists.

-Don’t give up! I am shocked how much I’ve improved since my first attempt.

Have a wonderful Tuesday. Let’s do this week right.

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