Guest Post: Strong & Lean Yogamoto Yoga Sequence

Good morning! I’ve got a really great post for you today- something you don’t see much of on this blog: Yoga! My cousin in law, Malinda, is a yoga instructor and the creator behind and author of Yogamoto. I recently saw Malinda at a family wedding and we had so much fun talking fitness and health and sharing our passions with each other. On top of teaching yoga in Maine, Malinda and her husband are super active with outdoorsy things and traveling all over the place. I hope you enjoy this post and learn something and are able to maybe get a little at-home practice in. I know I could use some of this a few times of week!

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Thanks to Monique for letting me share some yoga goodies with you all! I’m Malinda, and I created a practice called Yogamoto. Yogamoto is all about being present and living your path. Aside from teaching yoga, I love travel and adventure. I ride motorcycles, scuba dive, ski, sing. Yoga helps me get the most out of life… afterall the present is life! So let’s live there… right?! That’s what Yogamoto is all about – living life to the fullest.

I have been doing yoga since I was a kid, playing around with poses on the livingroom floor with my mom. I had NO IDEA we were doing yoga – acroyoga even – I just loved it! I started taking classes in high school. I got my 200 hour certification last year and have been having so much fun sharing yoga with my students!

Here’s a short sequence that strengthens, arms, core and legs, while increasing your range of motion. The sequence closes with a grounding balance pose. Here’s a misnomer – yoga isn’t all about flexibility! It’s about strength, balance, range of motion, and mental clarity. These are powerful poses that you’ll find in many beginner-intermediate yoga classes. While they look simple, they are challenging! Take time to do a little every day to build up your strength and stamina.

1. Tadasana (Mountain Pose). Stand with feet hip width apart, spine straight, palms facing front, rib cage lifted, shoulder blades back and down. Hold for 3 breaths. (see the top left photo in the image under #2 for this pose)

2. Swan Dive to Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend). Inhale arms up overhead, exhale arms to the sides while hinging at the hips to bend forward. Back remains straight while bending forward. Bend forward as far as you can comfortably. Though legs are straight, keep the knees soft with a micro bend. (Bend knees if you have lower-back issues.) Hang like a rag doll, relaxing arms, neck, back. If you like, grab your elbows to create a window for your head. Hold for 5 breaths.

Malinda guest post Swan Uttanasana

3. High Lunge. Bend your knees, bring palms to the mat, and step the right foot back on your inhale. Step back far enough so the left knee is over the ankle. The right leg is straight, right heel is raised, resting on the ball of the foot. Press back through the right heel. Tent fingertips to lift the heart forward so the spine and neck are held in a straight line. Place hands on blocks if this is more comfortable. Hold for 5 breaths.

Malinda guest post high lunge

4. Plank. Place palms on the mat. On the inhale, step the left foot back to meet the right, resting on balls of the feet. Hands are directly under shoulders. Shoulder blades are flush across the back (not sinking down through shoulders or pressing up to round shoulders). Create a straight line from crown of the head to the heels. Think about holding the core strong to stabilize you. Hold for 5 breaths.

Malidna guest post Plank

5. Side Plank (Vasisthasana). Place the left hand to the center of the mat, and start to pivot the feet so you are balancing on the outside of the left foot. Right foot stacks on top of the left. Bring the right hand to right hip as you turn the torso to the right. Inhale right arm up to the sky. Create a straight diagonal line from the head to the feet. Hug core in to stabilize. If this version is too intense for you right now, start by placing the left knee on the mat. If you are up for more of a challenge, lift the right leg up to be parallel with the floor. Hold for 5 breaths. Exhale bringing right hand back to mat to plank.

Malinda guest post Side Plank

6. Chaturanga Dandasana. Starting in plank, align shoulders slightly ahead of the wrists. Inhale, press back through the heels, engage the core, draw shoulders back. Exhale, slowly begin to bend elbows, hugging elbows to sides. Lower body keeping the plank position of a straight line from head to heels. Lower slowly taking about 3 seconds. Continue to lower until your shoulders are at the same height as the elbows at 90 degrees. Hold for 3 breaths.

Malinda guest post Chaturanga Dandasana

7. Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana). Exhale, press through the hands, lift the pelvis, press down through the heels. The heels may not touch the floor. Tip the pelvis up, draw inner thighs back. Focus weight in the hands in the fingers/finger base, not in the base of the wrist. Spin elbow creases forward. Elongate the spine, keeping neck neutral between the arms. Hold for 5 breaths.

Malinda guest post Downward Facing Dog

Repeat 1-7 on the other side.

8. Tree Pose (Vrksasana). Start in Tadasana. Slowly shift weight to the left foot, peeling the right foot off the mat heel to toe. With the hand, help bring the right foot to the inner thigh of the left leg. Press the foot into the thigh. Open the knee out to the side. (If this isn’t in your range of motion, rest the foot on the inside calf. Just don’t place foot on the knee.) Find one point of focus in front of you. Inhale hands to Anjali Mudra. Hold for 3 breaths. With the next inhale, raise hands above head. Hold for 3-5 breaths. Bring palms together, exhale to heart center, Anjali Mudra. Exhale foot to floor. Repeat on other side.

Malinda guest post Tree

Have fun with this sequence as you get stronger and stronger.

I would love to see more of you! Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and @yogamoto1 and check out my website www.yogamoto.com.

Time to Shine!

Malinda

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Thanks so much for sharing these poses with us, Malinda! I can’t wait to try this sequence… preferably when my head isn’t so congested! ;)

Questions for you: Do you do yoga? How often do you practice? What is your favorite pose?

What I’m Reading: 3/31/15

Link love. Friday Favorites. Things I’m loving. Link-ups.

There are so many different ways that bloggers are linking up to each other to share their content. It’s taken me ages to finally jump on the band-wagon, but “better late than never”, right?! Not only does sharing links from other bloggers benefit me by showing other bloggers that I’m reading and sharing their posts, but it also helps all of YOU because you get to be {hopefully} introduced to some new-to-you blogs. Win-win, right? (please note that I types Wine instead of Win both times…)

I went back and forth on a catchy name for this new series and am still not entirely sure I’m crazy about what I’ve chosen, but I’m rolling with it for now- if you have suggestions for something different, I’d love to hear them! I’ve also been trying to figure out what day I want to post this on- Friday, to serve as a great distraction from work (Athena’s “Friday Favorites” do this to me every.single.week!), Monday, again to serve as a way to slowly start your week, mid-week? I think I’m leaning towards Mondays for this series because I think it’s a nice way to catch up on anything you might have missed the previous week/weekend (I’m posting on a Tuesday this week because I was sick on Sunday/Monday and wasn’t up for blogging).

So, with that said, here are posts I’m reading, links I’m loving, stories I’m sharing. The list is short as I’m just getting the hang of it (and trying to find new-to-me blogs so I’m not sharing all the same posts as other bloggers- I saw Athena’s Friday favorites last Friday and we matched on a few… hoping to share more variance in the next ones!)! In the future, I plan on adding in quotes I come across and photos I see on Instagram that make me smile. Enjoy!

  • I learned so much from this post! I need to be better about tuning into my body and figuring out when this is necessary: Deload Week- What, When, Why from I Train Therefore I Eat
  • This is a blog I was introduced to through my partnership with FitFluential. Her posts are always super photogenic and I generally find myself hungry after reading them… This post won’t make you hungry, but it might make you motivated to get into the kitchen and try out some of these sugar substitutions! Sugar Substitutes. And, while you’re perusing her site, be sure to check out this post featuring 18 partner workouts (including one from me!): 18 Partner Workouts
  • RM and I plan on making these delicious looking Grilled Tuna Rolls soon, although I think I’ll ditch the roll. I think that’s too much bread for a fish entrée.
  • I can’t wait for us to make these. We might do them on Friday since it’s Good Friday and we can’t eat meat: Broccoli Potato Burgers
  • RM and I made these pancakes for our “Sunday Morning Pancake” day this past weekend and ohhh myyyy goodness were they delicious! They were light and fluffy and you’d never know they were healthy. We didn’t have an orange so we topped with banana and it was perfect: Paleo Coconut Orange Pancakes
  • If pancakes aren’t your thing, maybe oatmeal is? If so, there are 5 healthy oatmeal recipes in this post- they look so good and I can’t wait to make some :) Healthy Oatmeal Recipes for a Simple Breakfast
  • Kim’s post on being skinny or strong really hit home. There were so many years where I just wanted to be skinny… I had no idea how much better it is to strive for strength until I started incorporating more weights into my workouts. I can’t say enough about all the good things that have come as a result of that switch.
  • This isn’t anything to read, but it’s adorable to look at! Leopard Kitten

Here’s where I need your help! I’m looking to expand upon these posts in the future, but I could use some help with finding good material, so if you come across anything you think might be of interest to me or other B2B readers, I’d love for you to send them to me! Or, if there are any blogs you think I should start following,  leave the URLs in the comments :)

 

Shrimp and Veggie Curry Dish

I feel like I go through phases with my food dishes of choice. For a while, it was chicken and roasted veggies and kale. Then, it was meatloaf (so random, but so good). Then it was fish tacos (ok I always love these, but have to force myself to not request them every week!). Recently, though, it’s been curry dishes. When RM was doing the Whole30 (more on that later- he’s working on a recap guest post for you guys!), we were looking for meals that fit the guidelines and that were not boring. With so many restrictions, this wasn’t as easy as you might think, but this dish fit the bill and we were super happy with how it came out.

Before some of you start going “yuck. I don’t like curry”, I want to let you know that this recipe doesn’t taste like traditional curry (like this curry recipe did). I can’t really explain the difference, but it’s a milder taste and just doesn’t remind me of traditional curry dishes. Maybe it’s because of the curry paste we use, which is Thai Kitchen curry paste- either red or green. I forget which one is my favorite because we interchange them all the time (I think we’ve made this dish 4 times in the past three months- I just made it again on Monday with chicken thighs and the green curry paste), but either one will work and be delicious- I promise. Another thing we change up is the “meat” of the dish. We’ve used chicken breasts, chicken thighs and shrimp, but I think my favorite is when we make it with shrimp, as I’m showing in this recipe.

shrimp & veggie curry dish 1

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp. green or red curry paste
  • 1 can of coconut milk (make sure there’s no added sugar or anything- just coconut!)
  • 1/2-3/4 lb peeled and pre-cooked shrimp
  • 1/2-1 cup cooked quinoa, rice, millet, etc. (optional!)
  • 1/2 cup chopped onions
  • 1/2 cup chopped red pepper
  • 1/4-1/2 cup snow peas
  • 1/2 cup chopped broccoli
  • 2-3 large carrots, spiralized or chopped very thin (can use a shredder, too)
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • 1-2 tsp red pepper flakes (depending on how hot you want it!)
  • 2-4 tbsp EVOO (for sautéing)

Directions

1. Chop/spiralize your veggies. Heat a large pan with plenty of EVOO and add in all the veggies once it’s hot. Cook until they’ve softened (about 10 minutes). Season them with salt and pepper as desired. If you’re going to eat this with quinoa/rice/millet/etc., start cooking that now, too.

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2. Once the veggies have softened, remove from the heat and add in your coconut milk. Bring to a simmer and add in the curry paste after about 5 minutes. Stir to combine and let them come to a boil before turning down the heat and letting it simmer for a few minutes.

3. Add in the veggies and shrimp and let everything simmer until the curry sauce thickens.

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We’ve served it over nothing (during the Whole30 challenge), over quinoa and over rice. I think my favorite is rice since it soaks up the extra sauce a bit.

shrimp & veggie curry dish 4

I love these “one pot” meals because cleanup is a breeze and it’s great to get a bunch of food groups in with just one dish (stuffed peppers is another favorite to accomplish this).

shrimp & veggie curry dish 3

Another beauty with this dish is that it reheats so well! The flavor intensifies in the perfect amounts.

shrimp & veggie curry dish 2

YUM! Just looking at these photos makes me want to have a dish of this right now! This week I also paired it with some kale, which was another great way to soak up the extra sauce. This is a great dish for 2 that will leave you with plenty of leftovers or a small dinner party. I’d love to know if you try it!

Questions for you: What’s your favorite non-American style cuisine? Do you like curry? What’s your favorite protein to add to a dish?

 

Wednesday Workout: 25 Minute Total Body AMRAP Workout

Helllooo! How’s everyone doing today? I had to take a last minute work trip to Canton, which isn’t ideal, but hopefully it will go smooth and fast! Know what is ideal, though? Especially with a busy schedule? A short, but effectively butt-kicking workout! I truly believe that long gone are the days where you need to spend hours in the gym to qualify as a “workout” (unless, of course, you’re training for something specific that requires hours of training), which is why I’ve been loving AMRAP workouts; they force you to work hard and fast (but always focusing on form over speed!) and if you do them correctly (working through each exercise without rest), you’ll definitely feel like you’ve worked out for probably double as long as the workout really was.

Whenever I finish an AMRAP workout, I’m always surprised by how challenging it ended up being. First round? Not so bad. Second round? Starting to feel it. Third round? Ok, I’m slowing down… you get the idea.  This particular AMRAP workout was no different in that regard- my legs and upper body felt pretty smoked by the end!

25 minute total body AMRAP workout
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Nikia & Kyle’s Snowy Spring Wedding

It seems as though I say “that was the best wedding ever!” after every friends’ wedding. Waking up the morning after Nikia and Kyle’s wedding, my mind was thinking that same exact thing. We danced, we laughed, we cried, we loved. It was such a beautiful, wonderful wedding with so much love that it was hard to not think it was perfect!

RM and I got stuck in massive amounts of traffic when we left on Friday afternoon, but we finally got to Chittenden, VT around 8pm. Lucky for us, most of our friends had just arrived and we were greeted with a big ol’ glass of wine! The wedding festivities were held at the beautiful Mountain Top Inn, which was perfect since they had large houses for renting in addition to normal hotel rooms. Since there were 11 of us in our group (SMC girls plus some of our significant others), we opted to rent a house. The house was HUGE and could’ve fit probably 5 more people comfortably! There was a nice, big kitchen/living room/dining room area, 5 bedrooms and bathrooms, a whole separate living area downstairs including a kitchen. It seemed like it just went on and on!

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After we finished catching up, we sat down for “family dinner”. My friend Jess picked up some chicken parm and eggplant parm from Bricco and it totally hit the spot!

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