As I yoga teacher and CrossFit coach, I’ve tried to get my CrossFit clients to understand the benefits of both types of training and how they can balance and support one another. Unfortunately, neither group has been too keen on trying the other; more so the CrossFitters then yogis and to be honest, I just don’t understand why. At my box (CrossFit Nassau), I used to hold weekly yoga classes for the members. At first, they were popular, but after a few months, fewer and fewer people attended and we eventually stopped offering them. I was bummed because I’ve seen first hand how yoga has helped my strength training, i.e. yoga has helped me improve my core strength, range of motion, balance, breathe, and acts as a great stress reliever. What was it going to take to get more CrossFitters to understand these benefits? Continue reading 3, 2, 1… Yoga
A few years ago, I use to be fixated on what the number on the scale said and at times, I let it rule my life. I was obsessive about wanting to lose weight and would weigh myself constantly; when I got up, after I went to the bathroom, after a run, before bed, etc… I created this notion in my head that I had to be a certain number in order to feel good, pretty, fit, or overall happy. The scale became an unhealthy obsession for me, so a few years ago, I ditched it. I started to realize that I was more than just a number and that I didn’t want the number on the scale to control who I was or how I felt about myself. So I started to workout for me because I wanted to live a healthy life and be my best and strongest self. When I want to see improvements in my body, I don’t need the scale to tell me, I can see it by how my clothes fit, how much faster I can run, or how much more I can lift. Those things let me know that I am making progress. Continue reading You’re More Than a Number
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” ~Mark Twain
At times, I can get uncomfortable with the idea of having uncertainty in any area or aspect of my life. I am an over scheduler (to a fault, I have a hard time saying no) and a planner. I plan my schedule rigidly to the minute- how long I’ll sleep, when I’ll workout, work, hang with friends, spend time with family etc… I’ve got a schedule lined up for the next few days, weeks, and even months.
I like to have control and I enjoy having things a certain way so I know what to expect. For example, I know that on Monday I am going to wake up walk the dogs, run, go to crossfit, yoga, work, test, teach, have dinner go to bed…. Then it’s back to square one on Tuesday. I feel comfortable knowing what to expect. So when I lose this control it can result in discomfort, anxiety, and sometimes fear. However, I’ve discovered recently that it’s ok to have uncertainty in life and it actually can be kind of fun!!
Having quit my job this fall/winter to open a yoga studio (that hasn’t opened yet, but I’m still working on), I began freaking out… “what was I going to do for work while I waited for my plans to fall into place?”. I got anxious, wondering to myself “what the hell was I going to do with my life?”, I tried not to freak out and began to have faith that it would all workout and that the universe would guide me to where I was supposed to be. I discovered that uncertainty sometimes forces us to explore aspects in life we never even knew existed and that’s what makes uncertainty and change so beautiful. Having done so, I started encountering numerous opportunities, found new jobs, met new people, etc.. that I would never have, if my plans weren’t altered or if I had stayed inside my comfort zone.
So while I still believe that planning is important and having goals are good too, it’s also ok to take a leap of faith, jump and see where you land. Trust that something will be there to catch you. So when you hit bumps in the road and need to alter your plan, just go with it. Think of it as a new adventure and see where the road leads!!
Right now, I could not be happier!! Change and uncertainty are crucial in the process of creating the type of life we want to live and the people we want to be. I’ve tried to open my eyes and embrace not having everything figured out all the time. So if you think of the future and you don’t see any clear picture, rather than get stressed or anxious, think of it as a blank canvas with endless opportunities to fill it with color. Maybe wake up one morning with no plans and just paint as you go, creating your own beautiful masterpiece.
Just like in the quote above by Mark Twain- explore life, discover new things, go after your dreams; accept change and uncertainty and begin to explore the unknown.
Good Luck & Have FUN!!
If nothing else, as you get older is important to perform squats every day. Squatting is the #1 way to prevent bone fractures as you age. Continue reading Squat like your A** depends on it!
My mom is one of the strongest and most incredible woman I know. My mom has worked hard to provide a stable foundation for my life and future. She’s taught me invaluable lessons about life and love and for that I’m extremely grateful. Continue reading My Mother’s Day Message…
My good friend Catherine is getting married this summer and asked me about some great arm exercises she could do at home to help her arms be “wedding dress ready”; so this week’s post is dedicated to her!
Catherine- I think you and your arms already look sculpted and beautiful but I understand why you want to get more definition. I hope the following exercises will help 😉
Now is a great time to begin sculpting the lean muscles that are crucial for giving your upper body shape. Just know, that it can take approximately six weeks to see results from any strength-training exercise or program. So let’s get started….
To begin, here is what you need to do:
Grab a set of weights or if you don’t have weights, you can use water bottles. Or, you can even fill empty bottles up with coins (or other materials) to make your own weights.
These movements can be done right from the comfort of your home. In fact, the videos below were taken right outside my house! Click on the titles to view the videos!
Do 1-3 sets of 5-10 reps for each movement below (depending on your fitness level). As you get stronger, you can add more weight, more reps and even another set. For best results, try to do these exercises 3-4 times a week. You can break the movements up too, maybe do the first 5 one day and the next 5 another day.
Stand with a weight in each hand, arms by your sides, and palms facing forward. Bending your elbows, raise the weights to your shoulders, then lower and repeat.
Sit on a sturdy chair. Supporting yourself with your hands on the seat, slide your legs forward until your butt is off the chair. Bend your elbows, and lower your butt towards the floor. Your arms should be at about 90 degrees, next, straighten your arms and repeat. To modify keep your legs bent or for an added degree of difficulty you can elevate your feet.
Option 1- Begin bent over with your chest parallel to the ground & with a flat back. Stand with a weight in each hand, arms bent at shoulder height, keep arms by your side and bent at 90 degrees. Next, extend your arms straight behind you and then rebend. Option 2. Wrap both hands around 1 weight. Bring your hands up overhead and bend your elbows so the weight falls behind your head, straighten your arms and repeat.
Start in a standing position, a weight in each hand, palms facing legs. Raise your arms directly out to the sides, forming a “T”, then lower them back by your sides, repeat.
Start in a standing position, a weight in each hand, palms facing backward. Raise your arms directly in front of you until they are parallel to the floor, then lower them, repeat.
Begin in a full plank position with feet hip-width apart. Lightly tap left shoulder with right hand. Return to start and then immediately lift left hand and tap right shoulder. That’s one rep, repeat.
Start in a straight-arm side plank, your body forming a straight line from head to feet. With a weight in your free hand, lift your arm to the ceiling, then lower it to your side. Switch sides and repeat. To modify, drop your knee.
Begin in a push-up position with hands in a wide diamond (fingers pointing toward each other). Walk your toes in and lift your hips until your body forms an upside-down “V”. Bend elbows to lower head toward hands, press back up.
Get into plank and put your right hand on a ball (medicine ball, soccer ball, basket ball, you can even use a stack of books if you don’t have a ball) and keep your left hand on the floor. Squeeze your abs and shoulders as you lower towards the floor, keeping elbows in. Push back up and pass the ball to the other side, repeat.
Over the past week, as Easter approached, I began to reminisce about my childhood. I have so many wonderful memories of searching for my easter basket and then eating the delicious goodies inside. I always loved the oversized chocolate bunny and remember saving it for last, savoring every bite. Now, as a vegan, I wonder what type of delicious treats I’d find inside my Easter basket. Continue reading Vegan Easter Candy
This past November, I came across an article in Runner’s World Magazine about a woman with a terminal illness who was running her last marathon, The Marine Corp Marathon. The woman in the story was Kim Garrard Stemple. Kim was once a special education teacher, then school principal and cross country coach, but when she became sick in 2009 she stopped working. Over the last several years, Kim has been diagnosed with mitochondrial disease, (which causes progressive mental and physical deterioration), as well as lupus, benign bone tumors, lymphoma, and sodium channelopathy. Kim is currently receiving treatment but her condition is terminal. Even with a grim prognosis, Kim doesn’t let her illness get in her way. Kim continues to live a positive life, doing what she loves, helping to support and inspire others along the way. Continue reading We Finish Together
I have been thinking about how often people take things for granted. How we sometimes focus on the negative in our lives and we forget about all the good things. Somehow we’ve learned to believe that we need material items to be happy. So we go to work, hoping to make lots of money so we can buy things we want. We believe that these items will help us feel more fulfilled or make us feel that we matter; proving our worth to the world.
Since I quit my job and taken a pay cut, my husband put me on a budget. At first I thought, “what am I going to do?” Then I realized that I don’t need much. I have so much already and more than what money can buy. I started to think about all of the wonderful things in my life and having done so, I feel more content, more happy, and more sure that I am exactly where I need to be in life.
We don’t need to buy things to make our lives beautiful or joyous. We don’t need more glamorous items in our lives to find happiness and contentment. We can find these wonderful qualities in what’s already in front of us.
At times, I forget this. But in my best moments, I remember and my heart expands with more love for life and everyone around me.
In my mind, these things are perfect and are proof that we don’t need to buy anything to be happy, cool, excited, or content:
- A quiet morning walk with the dogs before sunrise
- A run outdoors with good friends
- A great cup of coffee
- Reading a book curled up on the couch
- A hug
- A yoga practice
- A delicious fruit smoothie
- Holding the door for someone
- A good workout
- Hot soup and good bread
- A song that gets you singing and/or dancing
- Fresh fallen snow
- The sound of the ocean
- Meeting a new friend
- A sunset
- Leaves changing colors
- A fire in the fireplace
- Cuddling with your significant other
- Sunday mornings in bed
- Spending time with friends
- A bite of mango
- Reflecting on life, blogging
- People laughing around you
- Imagining future possibilities
- Helping someone else
- Writing a note, email, or text to someone you care about
- Knowing that you love yourself
“Happiness isn’t about getting what you want all the time. It’s about loving what you have and being grateful for it.”
Last weekend I held a Benefit WOD (workout of the day) for Autism Speaks at my CrossFit Gym, AKA “Box” and it was a huge success. We had 53 people participate in the event. With everyone’s donations, we were able to raise $500 for Autism Speaks!