back to the 80’s minus leg warmers

Did you wear leg warmers? How about a sweat band on your head and your wrists? Perhaps you remember the Jane Fonda work out cassettes and videos? I think I had a Mouse-ercise cassette tape and I am pretty sure my 1st grade class did a Mouse-ercise demonstration at the half time of a basket ball game. And I being the fashionista that I am…even back then, wore purple leg warmers for the event. I was doomed for fashion tragedies from the get-go!

In the spirit of my 80’s diva, I purchased a purple sweat band for my yoga class. When I first began hot yoga, I barely glistened…now I sweat…..profously. My body has learned to cool itself. And now, the sweat burns my eyes.

I admit, I look like a COMPLETE IDIOTwith the purple sweat band across my forehead. They look so cute on the girls with long hair. My hair just sticks up over the band and looks weird. Not a good look. For once in my life, function over form.

Sometimes making a fist helps

We often take our health for granted. Me-Especially. I don’t even have a regular doctor. I rarely feel bad….and actually exercise to keep my bounds of energy at bay. I don’t know what it is like to feel pain everyday. I am very blessed.

But recently, my wrist has become inflamed and is very painful to move. Today for the first time, I couldn’t do a yoga pose because of physical pain. So I tried something NEW!  Rather than putting pressure on my wrist and hands for plank and updog, I put my weight onto my fist. This prevented the wrist from being wrist and created a straight line between my hand and my elbow. It wasn’t the most comfortable pose, but it prevented the streaks of pain from running up my arm.

I think I may need to go visit a doctor….this isn’t good. I’ll go nuts without my yoga.

Ignore Distractions

Life is filled with distractions. Some are positive. Some are not. Some are fun and frivolous. Some are challenging and difficult. And really…some are meaningful and some are meaningless. Finding joy in life means being able to navigate those distractions knowing which ones to go with…and which ones to ignore. It also means living life so that I am not a distraction to others.

Yesterday in my yoga class, we practiced letting go of distractions. Staying focused on the present. Not the worry of what pose is next, not the focus on the pain of the position, not the sweat dripping in my eyes, not the worry of past regrets, not the worry of silly things like what’s for dinner. It was incredibly hard to focus on the here and now. But, what today’s practice showed was that if I can focus on the present, I can harness my energy and not waste it on things that are not important to the present. Seems obvious-yes. But I challenge you to become aware of how many times a day you are distracted by external factors and internal thoughts.

So many times during a regular day, we let distractions zap our energy. Whether it’s a fun email from a friend or an unnecssary office distraction, centering oneself on the present prioritizes energy on what is most important. I have felt a little distracted lately and hearing this at my yoga practice was just what I needed. I left the practice feeling exhausted-mentally and physically. It takes extreme concentration to maintain a sense of presence in a yoga class and well, quite frankly, in life. And you know, it takes the same in everyday life. I brought this philosophy home with me and decided to give it shot.

I went to bed thinking about some of the distractions that I enable to have power over me and I woke up thinking about them…but thinking about them in a more conscientious way. Every time I felt a little distracted today, I took a deep breath and came back to my center. What energy this brought to me! Rather than the distractions having power over me…I had power of them. I found a wonderful, joyful energy throughout my day. I have never thought about my day in this way. This change in thinking could really be a paradigm shift in my outlook professionally and personally.

Coconut water- Celebs love it

Coconut water…sounds like a perfect pairing for a little rum drink. But wait- it’s not meant to mix with rum (although I have yet to meet a beverage mixed with rum that I doesn’t amuse me). Coconut water is being tapped as nature’s energy drink. With the potassium of two bananas and 15 times the electrolytes found in sports drink, this little darling is almost like a little liquid miracle after a tough workout.

The summer heat and humidity makes hot yoga a killer. My body rids its self of all kinds of crazy toxins (like the hot dogs I ate yesterday) and I am not sure I always properly hydrate. I’ve been hearing a lot of buzz about this drink and thought if Madonna drinks it…then so should I! I couldn’t find it in the regular grocery store, but found it at the Fresh Market today. $2.69 for a 17 oz box (2 servings).

Very interesting. It almost seemed to taste a little sour…bitter- kind of like a green banana. It was a taste I had never had before. I certainly couldn’t drink the whole bottle at once. It was far too rich. I think I had about 1/2 a serving before I called it quits. I think it must be an acquired taste. I will work on it. They say red wine is an acquired taste as well….and I seemed to have acquired that taste fairly easy. I’ll give her a shot! It’s so “in” right now and so good for you, I think I’ll learn to like the benefits.

The water is extracted from young green coconuts. The water inside the coconut is actually what turns into the flesh as it ripens. You would think it would be really sweet, but I guess like all fruit, the ripening makes it sweet…Duh. This drink has been enjoyed by Brazilians for years and actually is the second most popular fruit juice (second to OJ) www.vitacoco.com I also learned that it can help soothe an upset stomach and when paired with a proper diet, it can aid in weight loss. Sounds like a miracle…sign me up!

Namaste

Did I mention that hot yoga is really HOT…and sometimes it is easier to stop short on a pose when your legs are on fire, your hands are numb and you can’t see straight because sweat is dripping into your eyes. 

Today was NOT a stop short kind of day. The instructor carefully brought us into a new pose. It was HARD. I was HOT. But I didn’t give up. I held the pose. And miraculously…I didn’t die! I used my breath to pull me through it. On an average day I probably would have held the pose for a second or two and given up. But today…I was determined to try something new.

And tomorrow, I will take what I learned today on the mat and try it out in the office….face the challenge head on. Want to check out more on hot yoga….www.90degreesyoga.com