Slow down, Challenge Yourself (June Yoga?) and Feel Amazing

Good morning everyone. :)

yoga challenge
Sweet Tooth, Sweet Life

This week I managed my three yoga sessions! Not only that, but I’ve also incorporated yoga moves into ALL of my work outs.

Session One: Long and Lean (Tone It Up) 10 minute session (short and sweet, but highly affective);
Session Two: Goodess Work Out Circuit by the Tone It Up Girls, which uses yoga postures along with toning exercises;
Session Three: My 40 minute yoga/cardio hybrid.

Additionally, this week, I’ve decided to do Sun Salutations for my warm up, rather than my usual warm up of light jogging. I will do 20 salutes total, ten of which will be normal Sun Salutes and ten will be – what I refer to as – ‘Sweaty Sun Salutes’.

Essentially, it is the same as a regular sun salute (mountain –> forward bend –> plank –> chaturanga –> upward dog –> downward dog –> forward bend –> mountain), but you add a few more steps. It really gets the heart rate up. If you’re interested in trying, here is the flow:

sweaty sun salutation

Being in mountain pose, hands pressed firmly over your heart, feet hip width apart. Inhale and slowly raise your arms laterally and sink your hips into a strong squatting position, or into chair posture.
From there exhale and straighten your legs – as best as you can – and relax into a forward bend, pressing your palms onto the mat. Keep your core engaged (imaging someone pulling your belly button to your spine).
Inhale as you walk or jump your feet back into plank position, then exhale as you lower into a chatrunga (low plank) and as you push yourself forward into upward down (arms placed firmly next to your hips, chest opened, tops of feet pressed into your mat – if you need to have your knees on the floor, that’s okay) inhale and hold.
As you exhale push yourself back into the lower plank, elbows close to your ribs.
On the inhalation, with all your strength, push your entire body up into a high plank (this is difficult after a few rounds) and exhale, again, as you return to downward dog (your body should be at a 45 degree angle, relative to the ground. Bend your knees if you feel too much resistance). Repeat cycle as many times as needed.

Try it! It’s fun!

over the breakfast bowl

In lieu of this yoga challenge, but I’ve learning a lot about slowing down. In one of the at-home yoga videos I follow, the instructor informs us that in life, not only do you need to test your strength, but it is also important to slow down and cherish what you have. It is all reflective of the true importance of yoga: a balance.

Life in the Western culture makes it difficult to find balance. With work, school, kids, friends; sometimes it feels like we’re juggling so much we don’t have the time to slow down. But, we do. Even if it is just ten minutes out of the day. Take it. For you. No one else; just you.

How have I practiced this?

Every morning I get up around 5:30 and begin to make my breakfast (which, to me, is relaxing). Then, I eat it and plan out my mornings work out which – once food is properly digested – I tackle. After that, I’d usually run up and shower, but instead I’ve taken to lying on my yoga mat immediately after my work out for a little while to just reflect.

What on?

Well, first how proud of myself I happen to be for completing my days challenge. But also to think about how lucky I am to be where I am today.

In the past, my work outs were too long to do that. Once I was done I needed to run and get ready and go! But, now, thanks to my appreciating other things in life, I am able to do that. And, to be honest, it’s the best part of my work out: when I work my mind.

a quick review

I love trying new shampoos. Absolutely love it. And, this, right here, is amazing!

Typically, when shampoo shopping, I try to find products that have – mostly – natural ingredients. Why? Because it’s a habit I got into and I like it. Also, I just find that they clean my hair better.

This little bad boy not only smells awesome, but has also made my hair super soft! It has a coconut flavor (and I happen to be a coconut addict), with hints of kiwi. Bottom line? This stuff is absolutely wonderful.

As for pricing, my Mama actually bought it, but I don’t remember it being outrageously priced and you get a good amount on the bottle. So, if you find it, I would definitely pick some up.

That pretty much sums up what I have to say for now. Check in soon, and you’ll get a review of one of my favorite local vegan/vegetarian health food cafes here in Halifax!

Remember, stay sweet and smell the flowers,

Caitlyn

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