Lifting, yoga

The Meditation of Cardio

Before we get down to the good stuff I have a favor to ask of you. I would be so elated if you could take a few minutes to answer the following questions.  You can submit via this online questionnaire.  These questions will help to make sure I am properly aligning with your needs and wants with my website, emails and programs.

Now. The good stuff. Aka The Meditation of Cardio.

I’m not a fan of cardio.  Like I literally want to have a throw myself on the floor, kick and scream toddler tantrum every time I have to do cardio.  Don’t make me do it!

But I’ve come to mentally understand that cardio is a necessary evil.  So I’ve started doing sprints on a stationary bike at the gym which was nearly unbearable in the beginning. Truth.

Until I learned to change my mindset about it.

It’s so easy to trick yourself into thinking you can’t do something.  When I do cardio I only think about everything negative going on in that moment.  My thoughts are pure dislike so of course I wouldn’t enjoy cardio.  To flip the switch, I decided I would do 10 sets of 1 minute go all out bike sprints with a 30 second rest in between each minute.  15 minutes total minutes. Manageable; even for the cardio haters.

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I put my headphones in, blasted some Missy Elliot Get Cha Freak On and began.  I stared at one spot on the bike, focused solely on my breath and used the mantra “Just one minute”.  I only had to go all out for one minute, and then I could get a break.  I could do that. 

The first minute flew by and before I knew it I was accidentally going over my minute.  I was deeply focused. I was meditating and fully, completely in my zone.  Someone could have fallen off the bike next to me and I wouldn’t have even noticed.  I had no awareness of what was going on around me, the only thing that existed in that moment was my breath and my mantra.

Take away:  Meditation does not have to mean sitting in stillness with your hands on your knees and repeating “OM”.  Meditation can come in many forms and it can be a big advantage to switching your mindset from hating something to loving something.

Homework:  Pick an activity you don’t love, set a goal, create a mantra and get to it!  Let me know how it goes.

lifestyle, Lifting, yoga

The Yoga of Lifting

You know that feeling after yoga?FullSizeRender

I always notice it the moment I sit up after savasana and more so driving home.  Complete euphoria. Joy and serenity at its purest moment.  It’s hard to explain how it happens really, or why.  I just know it’s there.

Surprisingly to me, I started noticing the same exact feeling after lifting.  I’d get in my car, head home and that euphoria would set in.

The gym for me used to be dreadful before I met the barbell.  Now it’s a sanctuary as much as my favorite yoga studio is.  The barbell is equal to my yoga mat.  Both provide me strength, confidence, muscle, peace.  Both knock me down when I am feeling a little too ego driven and both build me up when I’m feeling dreadfully unsubstantial.
You see there is nothing like the feeling of being able to deadlift 200+ pounds. Feeling strong is the biggest confidence builder I have ever come across.  There is also nothing like the feeling of your first crow pose lift off or conquering that pose you’ve been working on for so long.  Finding that perfect balance just before your edge.  I believe the thrill comes from constantly challenging yourself. Pushing and testing your limits.

There will always be people who can lift more than you, or who can hold handstand and do all of these crazy poses better than you.  But what makes yoga so amazing and what makes lifting equally as amazing is that you can come to your mat or barbell every time and know that the only thing you have to worry about is improving yourself.