Spring

22 03 2012
Spring has sprung! I mowed the grass for the first time this season. It is early, but I am thoroughly enjoying the weather. Flowers and trees are blooming. Spring is a time of new beginnings. Many of you may be thinking of beginnin an exercise plan and considering walking or running. These are great options to increase cardiovascular fitness, lose weight, and reduce other health risks. But, where do you start?
Before you start any workout program, check with your doctor. Then remember to start slow. Exercise should be a part of your lifestyle, not something just to help you reach a certain weight or fit into a piece of clothing.
Find something you like to do. Remember, everyone is at a different stage of fitness, has different goals, and different likes. You will look forward to exercising when you enjoy it and you will be more apt to continue.
There are great beginner programs to coach you to reach a goal of 5k, 10k, 1/2 marathons, and full marathons. Google “0-5K”or “0-10K” and you will find programs which help you to gradually and safely reach your goals. There are even inexpensive smart phone apps to talk you through your runs while listening to one of your favorite playlists.
Need inspiration? Find music that makes you want to move, sing, or just makes you feel good. Download the songs to your smart phone or MP3 player and get moving. You can even Google playlist suggestions to walk or run to.
Don’t go it alone. Ask a co-worker or your spouse to join you. I bet your dog could use the walk, too.
Once you make the decision to start, you will feel better mentally and physically. It is a journey. Enjoy the journey. Notice your surroundings: listen to the birds, feel the breese on you face, and smell the food cooking on the neighbor’s grill. And be grateful for this journey.




Downward Facing Dog

31 01 2012

Downward Facing Dog

Adho Mukha Svanasana

adho = downward     mukha = face     svana = dog

Benefits

  • Calms the brain and helps relieve stress and mild depression
  • Energizes the body
  • Stretches the shoulders, hamstrings, calves, arches, and hands
  • Strengthens the arms and legs
  • Helps relieve the symptoms of menopause
  • Relieves menstrual discomfort when done with head supported
  • Helps prevent osteoporosis
  • Improves digestion
  • Relieves headache, insomnia, back pain, and fatigue
  • Therapeutic for high blood pressure, asthma, flat feet, sciatica, sinusitis

Strengthens: Shoulders, upper back, abdominals, lower back

Stretches: Glutes, hamstrings, shoulders, calves

From Child’s Pose, reach forward with your handcs and press them into the mat with fingers spread wide. Lift your hips into an inverted V. Push back through the balls of your feet.

Keep your head between your arms as you lift your tailbone to the sky. Sink your heels toward the floor without rounding your back. If your back rounds, bend your knees.





Letting Go of My Control Freakness

23 11 2011

My sweet girls. (Sophie needs the haircut.)

John and I are babysitting our son’s dog, Molly, while he is preparing for deployment to Afghanistan. When Ben joined the National Guard, we weren’t sure if the babysitting was a good idea. Our dog, Sophie, is a little diva and thinks she rules the house. But, we love Molly. She is 60 pounds of unconditional love and innocence.

John and I like to take walks and we always take Sophie with us. I took Sophie to obiedence classes when she was a puppy and she does a great job of walking beside me, not pulling on the leash. Molly has not had obedience training, so I decided I would train her.

Molly and I started training with short walks around our neighborhood block. I thought I would lose my mind. Every time she pulled, I stopped, and made her sit. It took us an hour to go around the block. I was sweating, frustrated, and thought my shoulder was dislocated from her pulling. I took he her for a  few more solo walks with the same results. I gave up.

John and I continued our walks without the dogs. We couldn’t take Sophie without taking Molly. We tried taking Sophie on a walk once, and we heard Molly crying inside the house. We turned around, put Sophie back in the house and walked without them. But, they needed the walk as much as us. I wasn’t sure what to do to make that happen.

Maybe put them on the treadmill? Sophie has walked the treadmill when it is too cold to walk outside. (I am always hopeful it will wear her out and she won’t feel the urge to bark at every leaf blowing by the window.) The downside to the treadmill is, it makes Sophie poop! On the treadmill. She poops and continues walking. It can get messy when it goes flying off the backend. Well, Sophie weighs 12 pounds. I am not thrilled at the thought of Molly on the treadmill and the possibility of her having the same urges. She’s the size of a small human!

We were experiencing some days of Indian Summer a couple weeks ago and decided to give it another try. John was at work and I had the brilliant idea to take both dogs by myself! I didn’t think too much about it. The leashes were on and we took off. Sophie pranced obediently on my left. Molly waddled (she’s a little wide in the behind) to my right and a little bit ahead of me. But, she wasn’t pulling on the leash! Could I be flexible enough to walk Molly without her right by my side? Could I let go of the idea that I must do it the correct way? Is there only one correct way? Molly thinks not. And so do I. Now.

(I am working on the need to feel, rather than be visually correct, in my yoga practice. I truly believe that what I accomplish on the mat is flowing over into my everyday life. Awesome!)

The three of us enjoyed our walk, our way. It was a beautiful day.

Namaste
Tammy