Centered

I’m a little WooWoo, I’ll admit it.  I like meditation.  I can stand in line at Starbucks waiting for my coffee (not tea, so maybe I’m only a smidge Woo Woo) and just stand there, not looking at my phone as I observe things around me.   When I do yoga I totally get that “supported by the earth” feeling and when I say Namaste, I mean it.  Srsly.

Ok, I’ll bite? What does yoga, meditation, standing still in a Starbucks line without checking the Facebook feed do?   It allows (ok, forces) me to be present.  To focus.  To not think out my next 10 steps.

We are conditioned to check off our to-do lists with speed and precision.  It’s becoming more about the tasks we get done (Costco, dry cleaning, report for the meeting, parent-teacher conference, book-club, workout…) than the actual doing.  (Wow, the WooWoo meter just spiked big time! )

But by taking some time, even just a few minutes to breathe is hugely beneficial.  To focus.  To center.  To connect.  You can even turn waiting in line for coffee into something more.  Or rather, less.

Stand there (keep your eyes open, don’t get weird on me) and breathe in, breathe out.  Nice, easy, normal breathing.  Don’t think about it just focus on the in and out breath.  Do this for a few times until you’ve bellied up to the bar and are ordering coffee.  By then you’ve lowered your heart rate, relaxed your nervous system and have created a little oasis in your hectic day.

Do I always feel connected, centered and focused?  Um, no.  But I keep at it because I think it’s the doing, not necessarily the achieving.  (there’s the Ah ha! moment)

Now go run!

Keli 🙂

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Sunny Side Up

The Holiday Hustle.    Here’s how it works.  

  •  Subscribe to the blog to get the workouts daily.
  • If you need structure, print out the 25 day calendar and check off the days as you go along.

 Click here for a copy of the full 25 day challenge.  

  • Always warm up prior to beginning.
  • Check with a doctor if this is your first time at the rodeo.
  • Miss a day?  No big whoop, just double up on another day.
  • At the end of the 25 days it’s Christmas.  You did it.  Congrats.  No prizes, just bragging rights.

Click here to for step by step instructions on how to do  a sun salutation., courtesy of Jessamyn Stanley

Namaste is the Way

The Holiday Hustle.  

Here’s how it works.  

  •  Subscribe to the blog to get the workouts daily.
  • If you need structure, print out the 25 day calendar and check off the days as you go along.

 Click here for a copy of the full 25 day challenge.  

  • Always warm up prior to beginning.
  • Check with a doctor if this is your first time at the rodeo.
  • Miss a day?  No big whoop, just double up on another day.
  • At the end of the 25 days it’s Christmas.  You did it.  Congrats.  No prizes, just bragging rights.

Now go run!

Keli 🙂

PS – Happy Holidays!

Greet the Day – Sun Salutations

Today we’re doing Yoga!  Sun Salutation, to be exact.  This series of poses warms up the body and the more times you repeat the cycle the more flexible and open your body becomes.  Aim to do the cycle 4 or 5 times.

Below are step by step instructions (courtesy of www.verywell.com), and an infographic. You can also follow along watching Yoga with Adriene (click here).

Sun Salutationsun-salutation

Begin in Mountain Pose

To begin, bring yourself to the front edge of your mat in mountain pose (tadasana) with the hands, palms together at your heart center.

Inhale. Bring the arms out to the sides and up to the ceiling to join your palms above your head in raised arms pose (urdhva hastasana). Lift your gaze to your thumbs and slide your shoulders away from your ears.

Exhale. Release your arms to either side and forward bend over your legs (as if you were doing a swan dive into a swimming pool) to come into a forward bend (uttanasana). Alternatively, you can keep your palm together and pass them in front of your heart as you fold forward.

Place your fingertips in line with your toes. Flatten your palms if possible or tent your fingers. Place your hands on blocks if they don’t reach the floor when your legs are straight. You can also bend the knees a little if that makes you more comfortable.

Inhale. Lift your head as you come to a flat back (ardha uttanasana), coming onto your fingertips or placing your hands on your shins, whichever allows you to get your back really flat.

Exhale. Plant your palms and step or jump back to a plank position. In plank, make sure your shoulders are over your wrists and your butt is neither sticking up nor drooping down. A straight line from the crown of your head to your heels is what you are going for. Take an inhale here.

Exhale. Lower to your knees, chest, and chin. Keep your butt high and your elbows hugging your ribs.

Inhale. Come forward to a low cobra. Anchor your pelvis and the tops of your feet to the floor but try not to press into your hands as you come up into the backbend.

Inhale. Roll over your toes (if possible) to come into an upward facing dog. Bend your elbows out to the sides at first in order to bring your shoulders down and away from your ears. Then straighten your arms. Make sure your legs are straight and your knees are lifted off the floor.

ExhalePush back to downward facing dog. You can come through hands and knees on the way if necessary.

Stay here a few breaths (or more) if you need to take a break. If you are going for a brisk pace, just stay one breath.

Exhale. Step the right foot next to the right hand and then bring the left foot to join it in standing forward bend (uttansana).

Inhale up to a flat back and then exhale back to uttanasana (forward bend).

Inhale. Lift your arms out to the sides and up, reversing the swan dive to return to raised arms pose.

Exhale. Come to stand in mountain pose with your hands in a prayer position at the heart.

Namaste.

Now go run!

Keli 🙂

Yoga is for Posers

So I guess I’m into yoga now.

In full disclosure I’ve only been “practicing” for a week.  See, this is cool.  You don’t ‘do’ yoga, you practice it.  And you can bet your asanas (that means poses) that I quickly and painfully found out how much I needed to practice.

Since I’m a runner who doesn’t stretch I thought getting into a consistent habit of some body work would be smart. And  I needed something more structured than a self-administered foam rolling and stretch routine.

yoga kittiesHello yoga.

Every day I’ve committed to doing a 20-30 minute practice.  I’m a big fan of television so I’ve turned to OnDemand for my yoga instruction.  Grokker has some very good productions.  I like how they say “sitting bones” instead of “sits bones” and “holding your hands at heart center”.   They are nice to look at and have a pleasant demeanor.

One teacher asked me (well, it was through the tv so not me personally, but you know what I mean) to do some weird bendy thing across my leg.  I laughed.  And he said if that’s too easy you could add this and then that.  I laughed really loud because that’s exactly what I say in my boot-camp class.

Trust me when I tell you that I have a greater appreciation for my students who may feel the same way when I chirp “and if you want to take it to a level 2, add the hop”.   See, personal development comes anywhere.

To be very honest yoga is not pleasant for me.  I’m very inflexible.  Years of running and pounding the pavement have taken its toll on my flexibility.   My practice starts out ok (in a standing pose) moves very quickly to uncomfortable (ouch, forward bends) then settles in nicely to really uncomfortable (shoulder stands, yikes).  But I persist.

Today was great, even as I struggled with the hard poses I felt strong and that I could eventually, someday get there. Yesterday I was really sore and had a hard time even with Sun Salutation.  So it’s the ebb and flow.  Like anything.

But I will say I do love how I feel afterwards.

And that’s what I tell my class and my personal training clients.  If you focus on how you’ll feel when you finish you’ll have a much easier time starting.

And on that note.  Namaste.

Now go run!

Keli 🙂