Archives for posts with tag: strength

I have always been a modest girl… woman.

When I was younger my modesty or shyness made other people uncomfortable, so I was outcast and teased.

I can only ASS-ume that the being made fun of and made to feel different played a huge role in my body image and self confidence. For longer than I would like to admit I had a hard time ‘loving’ my body, like I’m pretty sure most of the women on the face of the Earth do. I tried different diets, I tried different types of exercise, I tried buying clothes from different places.

As I’ve grown older my appreciation for my body has DEFINITELY evolved. In fact, going through pregnancy and having a baby has played an enormous part in how I now feel about my body. But something recently, though I can’t quite pin point it, has left me in a state of such acceptance and yes… LOVE of my body. I feel happier, sexier and stronger than ever.

So today after I taught yoga I was rummaging through the clothing racks because I had my eye on a tank top I wanted to buy. Right there in the lobby I spontaneously took my yoga top off (WAIT!!! Before you go there- I still had a sports bra on) and tried the other tank top on.

Right there, in the middle of the yoga studio lobby! It was…

LIBERATING!

People saw my bare belly and my “imperfect” by societal norms body. I’m not sure what it was, but that moment of pause and insecurity simply did not exist.

Now all I can think about is if THAT is what women were searching for when they started burning their bras?

If I could bottle it and sell I would! But the fact of the matter is that it shouldn’t take ANY woman 33 years to feel her absolute best. There has got to be something done about how we communicate to young women and how beautiful they are in all of their different shapes, sizes and abilities. Starting NOW.

 

Advertisements

When I was in high school I HATED running. Every week in volley ball practice we had to run the mile and I vividly remember how torturous it seemed to me.

In college, I took up running as a way to feel healthy, but also (without even realizing it) I think I started running because it was something that made me feel safe and strong, independent even, and empowered. I had moved away from all of the comforts of home: family, boyfriend, hometown. I was all on my own. Running gave me a sense of control of my situation. I fell in love with it.

Overtime my connection to running evolved. Instead of running to feel control, I ran to feel freedom. I ran to feel centered, and to find peace of mind.

I continued to run throughout my young adult life, and even ran my first half marathon in 2011.

Then, I had a baby.

Needless to say my life changed. More significantly to my running habit, my pelvis changed.  For the last 2 years I have been patiently (and sometimes not so patiently) waiting for the pains of childbirth to leave me alone so I could get back to running.

Now let me say this- there are lot of things that a woman goes through when she has a child. Namely, a complete revamp and redefinition of who she is and what she contributes to the world. If she’s lucky, she will have taken on this task willingly and without any remorse. Some, not so lucky. Me, I chose to become a mother and since have been willing to redefine myself every moment for the sake of my kiddo.

The point: I ran the farthest I have run in 3 years today and am SO excited to not have any lower back pain!!!

More importantly, my run today felt like getting a piece of my self back.

Its not always easy to let go of an older version of yourself- even when you are willing. I’m proud of myself for being brave enough to let go of who I was, the me that runs. And I’m proud of myself for being patient enough to be able to say I’m a runner AND a Mama.

The best things in life are worth waiting for.

Spring is my favorite season.

The cold weather wanders away, little buds pop up on every tree, the birds seem to be singing a happier song.

There’s so much transformation that happens in nature. Its easy to focus on what we see and assume that its all beautiful and simple.

But don’t be fooled.

Underneath, the earth is quivering.

It is no small feat for the tulip to push to the surface, ‘I’ve arrived’!

And the long journey that the birds make through the winter is no mistake.

And YOU.  As fearful as you may be to shed the skin thats been protecting you for the last however long… its time.

You are the point THE UNIVERSE has been trying to make.

And because you are who you are, no matter how many times you climb back in bed, no matter how many times you are told ‘no thank you’, no matter how many times you try to talk yourself out of it… YOU will be who you are.

Just as the tulip knows how hard her journey will be to see the sun itself. She must MOVE. She must WAKE UP.

There is a gift that you were meant to share, my friend. What better time than NOW.

If you’ve taken my class or know anything about my professional background, then you’ll know how I feel about Plank.

Its such a fundamental pose, yet SO many students, clients and yogis have a hard time with plank.  This is a challenging pose… but why is it so hard if all it takes to create the proper alignment is to stand up straight? Yea, its that simple (not easy), plank pose is the same as standing tall with a neutral and erect spine, except we turn it on its side.

Most commonly what I see is that people are not able to draw in and up through their core. This creates a sagging effect through the lower back, and puts more strain on all of the joints in the upper body. Another challenge people usually have, is to not let their head pull them down. A human head weighs upwards of 10 lbs. Letting it hang down pulls the whole pose in to a collapsed state. Keep your head in line with your spine, eyes forward and up with the back of you neck long.

Here are some tips for you the next time you are in plank pose:

1. Engage your WHOLE body! Fingers, forearms, biceps, triceps, chest, back, core (front and back), glutes, quads, hamstrings and calves. Yep, thats one of the main reasons I love it so much- its a full body workout! When you are engaging these muscles, do so in such a way that makes you feel like you’re pulling the muscles into the bones, rather than bracing for some kind of impact.

2. Keep a buoyancy in your shoulder girdle. A lot of times this is where things start to fall apart, and unfortunately I hear a lot of instructors cueing this incorrectly. You’re not trying to only round your shoulders NOR only squeeze them together- you are doing BOTH. The shoulderblades should be in an in-between state to create the strength and buoyancy I’m talking about.

3. USE your legs! So many folks try to hold their body weight in their arms- which will be eternally challenging in this position. Your legs are super strong and can help to distribute the weight more appropriately. Try this: when you are in plank, pull your hands and feet toward each other. Then when you move to Chaturunga you’ll feel light as a feather! (well, almost!)

4. Mind over Matter. Without any training or pre-run I held a 4 minute plank. I’ve had students who trained and held plank as long as 20 minutes! Its ALL in your head. Consider what comes up for you when the pose gets challenging. When you want to give up, take one more deep breath… then maybe another… and another…

IMG_1585

For fun, set a timer and see how long you can hold plank. Then start doing 60 seconds every day. On the 7th day- don’t rest, time yourself again 😉

See if you’re able to hold it longer. Then set a goal- after 3 months of training how long would you like to be able to hold plank?

My goal: Dec 21- 8 minute plank!!!

http://willpowerlife.com/galleries/world-plank-2013/