Thursday, October 25, 2012

POWER YOGA: for Every Body

I was happy with the Flow Yoga for Strength & Flexibility also released by Body Wisdom Media, so I thought that I would try this one out. Especially since I enjoy Power Yoga!

The routines are demonstrated by the individual picture on the cover. The cinematography makes me think that it was filmed less recently than the Flow Yoga for Strength & Flexibility DVD. And while the cover is badly photoshopped, I think it is interpretive and trying to say something like, "this is how you will feel after using this DVD in the morning."

This DVD is split up into three different categories, Beginning, Intermediate and Challenging routines. Because each category has so much content I have only completed one from each section thus far and I will come back later and update it as I complete more of them. My hope is that it will prove to be a good DVD for any level!

Here is what you will find on this DVD:

Beginning Routines: (From what I can tell this is for true beginners and inflexible people who are just starting to explore yoga)

  • Good Morning (20 min)-Begins with some stretches to help get the blood circulating. After you have completed the stretches you will move on to a highly modified sun salutation series. This includes the use of a chair and your mat. This would be a great routine for true beginners, those wanting to build flexibility (after some cardio, etc).
  • Good Morning Extended (40 min)
  • Invigorating Practice (40 min.)
  • Strength & Balance (40 min)
  • Balanced Energy (60 min)
  • The Full Workout (80 min)
  • Quieting Energy (35 min)
  • Good Night (15 min)

Intermediate Routines: (for beginners with some experience)

  • Good Morning (25 min)-The same first 11 minutes of the coordinating Beginning sequence with a lightly modified sun salutation. Good for beginners that are ready for the next level without the chair!
  • Good Morning Extended (45 min)
  • Invigorating Practice (50 min)
  • Strength & Balance (50 min)
  • Balanced Energy (65 min)
  • The Full Workout (1 hr 40 min)
  • Quieting Energy (40 min)
  • Good Night (15 min)

Challenging Routines: (for the intermediate to advanced home yogi)

  • Good Morning (40 min)-This one starts again with the same first 11 minutes used in all of the morning sequences. This is probably good because you don't want to do anything to crazy as your first routine in the morning. You continue into a longer and more advanced sun salutation that feels great in the morning!
  • Good Morning Extended (65 min)
  • Invigorating Practice (65 min)
  • Strength & Balance (70 min)
  • Balanced Energy (90 min)
  • The Full Workout (2 hr)
  • Quieting Energy (40 min)
  • Good Night (15 min)

If you are interested in purchasing this DVD on Amazon see below:

Happy Training! à bientôt!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Hot (Bikram) Yoga Continues

I went back to the yoga studio and I got the 21 days for $21 deal. It just feels way too good, even if I don't make it every day I'm saving big time (drop in price is $25 per)! If you are local and interested in this deal just go to the class you want and ask for the deal. I think it is a limited offer because of their "grand opening" or something. But, it is definitely worth it!
Second time, I didn't get as nauseated or dizzy. It still felt wonderful on my sore muscles. I love going in the morning since it is getting cold outside, and the yoga studio is so warm and cozy! I did have some issues with balance today that can probably be attributed to my staying up all night Sunday working on homework and late last night registering for classes.

If you are interested in more details reference my first post on this studio: Bikram Yoga First Time

If you are interested in registering for a class see below:
Bikram Yoga at Brick Canvas
Midterms are almost over, and I'm anxious to get back to my normal routines and blogging more consistently again. I also had an idea the other day, now that I have tried quite a bit to create my top ten list for intermediate/advanced workouts/routines and top ten for true beginners looking to start moving. These would be picked from what I have already blogged about and not from my future posts. You never know, maybe you missed some of the older posts.
Happy Training! à bientôt!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

BALLET BOOT CAMP: 2 with Jessica Sherwood

I have done a post already on Ballet Boot Camp: Stretch, I enjoyed this one because it warmed the muscles and prepared your body to stretch during the workout or even any extra stretching after the workout. Ballet Boot Camp: 2 was what I was next interested in trying. Someday I may try Ballet Boot Camp: 1, but for now let's focus on 2.

The warm-up is great, it consists of some core warming movements that roll through the spine and lengthen from your tail bone to the top of your neck. The second portion of the warm-up breaks down balancés (a weight shifting step in ballet). I love balancés and was pleased to find this was part of the warm-up! If this movement is new for you, don't get discouraged, place your hands on your hips until you get the feet, or go at a slower pace that you are comfortable with. With practice you will find it easier.

Her arms segment I felt in my upper back, which is a good thing since I know that I need to strengthen my back, but someone else might feel it elsewhere like the deltoids or triceps. I'm liking how Jessica is breaking down the exercises and alignment before each section in order to help you get the most out of the workout and prevent injury. Abdominal exercises include more than crunches but also include crunches. She is great at reminding you about your alignment! If I didn't have her talking me through these things I don't think I would be motivated to work so hard. After the glute section Jessica moves into more ballet.

The ballet section includes center barre consisting of plies, tendus, degages, rond de jambe, leg swings. She then has 5 choreography phrases all done to the same music because at the end she puts them in a pattern and you then have this long sequence to practice.

If you have never had ballet experience there are still exercises that you can do, mainly the first half to three quarters of the DVD. If you have ballet experience then you  may look forward to the second half of the DVD, which is titled "ballet basics" and "choreography." Although the combinations are simple, she teaches them quickly (picking it up quickly is a great skill for auditions), if you need to repeat the break down of the phrase, or pause then go ahead! If you have been doing ballet for a while then you may find it just good practice for technique rather than challenging.

This is definitely a great workout DVD, and I was sweating long before the end! My three favorite things about this DVD: works on toning, and strengthening lean muscle; stretches are included between exercises to prevent any bulking of the muscle; and it includes actual ballet technique.

If you are interested in purchasing this DVD from amazon see the link below:
Purchase from Amazon

 Happy Training! à bientôt!

Raw Food Ice Cream

Peach Raw Ice Cream
I'm one of those that craves ice cream, so to curb the craving in a perfectly healthy and easy way I make raw ice cream. This ice cream recipe has no sweeteners, and is a soft serve texture. My mom introduced me to this a couple years ago and I can't get enough! There was an original recipe in an amazing Raw Food cookbook somewhere, but it has since changed a little. When I re-find the book I will definitely update this post! Another fun thing about this is that teens, kids and babies alike love it, and it's a healthy alternative to ice cream. So here's the instructions:

5-12 min. to make (much easier than homemade ice cream) assuming you already have frozen bananas and including the time to partially thaw them.

Preparation: peel then freeze bananas 10+ hours (this is also a good recipe to use if your bananas are ripe enough for banana bread)

2-3 frozen banana halves (peel before you freeze in a ziploc bag)
1/2 c. your choice of fruit (fresh strawberries, half a large peach, pomegranate, etc.)

Servings: 2

Step 1: place frozen banana halves in food processor with your choice of fruit (let it sit for 5-10 min depending on how frozen the bananas are. Hint: you don't want the bananas to thaw all the way!! this will ruin the texture)

Step 2: Blend until it is a smooth texture.

Step 3: Serve immediately, just like real ice cream this melts!

In the images below you will see some of the steps and the finished ice cream in little custard bowls.
To demonstrate the change in texture depending on the fruit of your choice I made one using 3/4 c. fresh pomegranate seeds and the other using 1/2 of a large frozen peach.

My frozen ingredients
 Letting the bananas sit for 5-10 min.

 I added the pomegranate and blended it! Nice and smooth (excepting the seeds)
 My second batch was peach ice cream, this one is always really smooth!
 I love taking off the lid to see the texture
 You can tell that this one is thicker (pomegranate was less solid because it is essentially little liquid bubbles, whereas the peach is solid and added to the thick texture)
 Ready to eat!!
 Peach ice cream, and strawberry ice cream are my two favorite flavors using this recipe.
 Happy Training! à bientôt!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

BIKRAM YOGA: Hot Yoga 26 Postures

This post is about my first experience with hot yoga, or Bikram Yoga. First, this is my experience, and it may not be what everyone else experiences. Second, I am no doctor and my personal opinions are expressed below.

For those of you not familiar with hot yoga, it is a different method of yoga that is done in both heat and humidity. You can see this link to wikipedia for more information on Bikram Yoga. The breathing techniques are different than for example ashtanga yoga or vinyasa yoga. The temperature is approx. 105* F and about 40% humidity. Because of the heat I would recommend wearing something light on top (or no shirts for men) and shorts. I wore my yoga/running tank with some yoga shorts. We also put a towel over our mat and had a water liter water bottle by our side during the entire thing. This is also a form of yoga that you do not want to wear sweats during! The throaty breathing done during ashtanga is in order to warm your body. In bikram you are warming the body from the outside and therefore we only used that breathing technique for maybe the first five minutes. The rest is done quietly and for the most part in and out through your nose.

At first I was a little concerned at whether or not I could make it through the class--I'm on the tale end of a nasty cold, and my lower back/upper leg on my right side has been giving me fits. However I didn't need a single cough drop, and it cleared my sinuses enough that I could participate in the correct breathing techniques for most of class. I did not feel any pain in my lower back or leg where it usually is very painful just walking around campus (again this is my experience and may not be the same for everyone). Even now that it has been almost two hours since the end of the class my back still feels better than it did before I went in.

Triangle Pose
I feel energized, ready to take on the day, and my mind is clear. I can focus now, and relax. I feel like it was good for stress relief, and even meditation (if you are familiar with the sequence). I was also talking with my yoga buddy, and we decided this must be a really good form of yoga for runners or dancers recovering from injuries because of the heat which loosens up your muscles.

A note on nutrition and hydration: I did feel nauseous the last 10-15 min. of class, and from what I understand that is normal to feel nauseous (differing degrees for everyone-one guy said he gets nauseous at the beginning of class). If you do feel nauseous the teachers seem to be understanding, and our instructor advised that you not move until the nausea goes away. If you are on a diet that restricts your nutrient intake (which I don't necessarily approve of) then I can imagine hot yoga being dangerous and possibly some passing out or worse. Make sure you eat a healthy balanced diet the day before. We went to the 6 AM class and some people can keep a light breakfast down and others can't, just be aware of what your body can handle and be healthy! Most of all stay hydrated!

We were totally going to take a picture doing a pose after the class just to document the moment and include in this post. However, we forgot. So my husband was kind enough to take a picture or two of the two poses that I felt I learned the most. One that I didn't get a picture of but was one of my favorites was Garudasana or eagle pose, which I have done before with one of the Tara Stiles routines. I like to refer to it as "pretzel pose." :)

Toe Stand Pose
Triangle Pose- Different from the ashtanga warrior series, you do not place the hand on the floor and you want a triangle of negative space between the side of the torso and the thigh. You only go until the elbow is lined up with the knee.

Padangustasana (toe stand pose)- It was definitely challenging! I'm going to have to work at this one since it is pretty new to my movement vocabulary.

If you are interested in how to prepare for a class click here to see what the Brick Canvas studio advises.

If you are interested in the studio that we attended see the link below:

Bikram yoga studios are more difficult to find than other yoga studios, but if you look for one in your area hopefully there is one close by.

 Happy Training! à bientôt!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Another first! Archery :)

Wow, I feel like it has been so long since I have last posted. Last week was a busy week, and now that my toe is recovering, my hamstring is feeling happier, and I have another week before the next performance I can start posting like normal again. Also, thank you everyone that supported our performance at the Covey Center on October 1st, it was a blast! (see below, my best friend EVER is now doing Highland dance with me and this was a our first performance together!)

The ballet barres are officially functional in my studio space and I love having them! I feel like the room has finally come together. See my post about my studio by clicking here for an updated image at the bottom of the post!

Today after school and before rehearsal I was able to learn how to use a bow and arrow! I think I found a new hobby. Bow and arrows are officially on my Christmas wish list! Just for the history books we documented my first draw--please ignore my improper form--and when I am pro at it I will post a wicked awesome photo/video. :) I've since learned that I need a wider stance and can pull back farther to get better reach with the arrow. One of the reasons that I really love archery (as of today) is for the breathtaking feeling that I get when I let the arrow loose.

 Happy Training! à bientôt!