How can we expect to be “good” if we don’t practice?

The other night I took a yoga class for the first time in probably 6-12 months. Between teaching a lot, hot summer weather and preferring to spend my “free” time lifting weights, yoga just never made it into my weekly routine. No big deal – things happen! However, whenever I come back from a yoga hiatus, I am quickly reminded why it’s so important, and always end up asking myself the same question: “why don’t I make this a more regular thing?”. I know it’s an important part of my physical training (hello, flexibility, mobility and stretching my tight muscles!), but even more than that, it’s an important thing for me mentally. I run around all week between work, training clients, teaching, trying to blog, trying to hang with friends and have date nights with my hubby, that I end up leaving little to no “down” or quiet time. No time for just me. And yoga the other night reminded me why this is so important.

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Having that one hour to breath, stretch, move and take the time to actually listen to how my body feels was a HUGE reminder as to why this is something that I need to make part of my regular routine. I noticed how tight my shoulders were. I noticed that my right hip flexor was tight and bothering me. But most of all, I noticed that I had a REALLY HARD time quieting my mind. I was thinking about what the strength workout was that I was missing. I was convincing myself that yoga was the right choice for me that night. I was thinking about the trip to Telluride we just booked. I was thinking about said tight shoulders and hip flexors. I was thinking about what I would have for dinner.

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Initially, this bothered me. Why couldn’t I just quiet my mind and focus on breathing? Why did everything feel so hard? But then I had one of those “ah-ha” moments…  How could I expect to jump right back into my practice where I was when I last did yoga consistently if I hadn’t been to yoga in going on a year? I couldn’t. So I accepted where I was and made a promise to myself to go more often. To practice. Just like I tell my clients and fighters when they get frustrated because they aren’t “good” at something or because something feels “hard”. I always say to them “you can’t expect to be “good” at something or have it come easily to you if you don’t practice.”, which is true!

These days, we all want the easy access (guilty as charged!). We want quick results and we don’t want to have to work hard. Sorry to tell ya, friends, that’s not how life works. We have to work (and oftentimes, work hard) for what we want and for things to be “easy”.  We have to practice. We have to train.

My client the other day said to me “ugh you made that look so much easier than it is”, and my response? “that’s because I practice it. I worked through the exercise and trained myself to get better at it.”.

And this applies to all areas of our lives. You can’t expect a promotion at work if you don’t put in the work. You can’t expect to run faster if you don’t train. You can’t expect to get stronger if you don’t lift weights. You can’t expect to lose weight if you don’t make changes to your diet or workout routine. You can’t expect to get more “likes” or “followers” if you never post things. Catch my drift?

So, even though my yoga experience earlier this week wasn’t entirely what I wanted or expected, it caused me to self-reflect and give myself a little self-check, which I SO appreciate. I can’t wait to make yoga a more consistent aspect of my training.

Questions for you: Do you tend to be impatient when it comes to wanting change or something to happen? Do you want to rush through the in between steps to get to the end? Do you like yoga or do you have a hard time settling your mind?

 

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Five on Friday {8.5.16}

Hi friends! Happy Fridayyyy. Did you have a good week? Mine was filled with lots of different forms of fitness, time with friends and early nights with RM, so I can’t really complain 😉 I’m really looking forward to this weekend because I am heading home to Maine later in the weekend- I haven’t been home in so long so I’m excited to go home and relax and hang with my parents. With that, let’s recap some things of possible interest:

  • Seaport Sweat The first night of the Seaport Sweat series was a sucess! I had a blast teaching outside to a group of mostly new faces- I was craving this exact sort of challenge in my teaching so this series worked out really well 🙂 If you didn’t make it last week, no worries! I’ll be there every Monday night at 6:30pm until the end of October (minus the 3 weeks I won’t be there because we will be on our honeymoon). You can sign up here if you’re interested in checking it out. Remember- it’s FREE… and they’ll have swag to giveaway soon, too!

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  • New Boxing schedule– GymIt in Watertown has made some significant changes to their schedule for the month of August. Instead of being there at 5:30 and 6:30pm for Bags & Beats on Tuesday nights, I’ll be there for just ONE class at 6pm. This actually works out well because August is a crazy month filled with lots of teaching so  it’s nice to drop my schedule down a bit.
  • FIT on the Garden On Wednesday I had the chance to head over to the Prudential Center for a free yoga class on the Prudential greens. I was so happy someone from the Prudential marketing team reached out to me because otherwise I would’nt have known about this amazing outdoor free fitness series. There were SO MANY other yogis participating in the class and it was really freaking awesome getting to do yoga outside and look up and see a bright blue sky and the Prudential center. On top of that, they gave me a really sweet swag bag full of goodies like a gift card to Lulu, sweetgreens, Sephora and Flywheel- I felt so spoiled! If you’re looking for a new way to workout this summer, they’ve got classes every wednesday for the rest of the month.

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  • Kitchen/Food Storage Tip- If you’ve been reading B2B for a while, you know that RM and I love to prep food for the week. It’s something that saves us time throughout the week and ensures that we have good food at our fingertips. This week we attacked it a little differently- on Sunday I prepped everything (chopped veggies and put them in the dish they’d be cooked in and marinated the chicken) and then while I was in the city teaching on Monday, RM seasoned everything and cooked it. We were both big fans of this new proecss- it saved us time on Sunday and made Monday’s cooking so easy! And even better? we combined all of the veggies into 1 dish so that we didn’t have to have multiple different containers clogging up the fridge… and it’s less to take out when we are reheating them. Highly suggest doing this 🙂

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  • One Month! I can’t believe it’s been one month since we got married. Time flies when you’re having fun, right?! Even though planning a wedding was a stressful thing, I wouldn’t trade in any of it because the end result was so freaking amazing! Everything far exceeded our hopes and expectations and we would do it all over again in a heartbeat if we could 🙂

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And with that, here’s to the weekend! I’ll chat with you next week, hopefully with another wedding recap 🙂

Embracing another week of yoga

 

Good morning! If you’re here for my weekly “Wednesday Workout” post- sorry! Changing things up a bit this week. With good reason, though: I’m embracing another week of yoga at Corepower yoga. I’ve had another free week to use before the end of January and seeing how the next couple of weeks are really busy with lots of teaching, I figured this was the perfect week to take a step back and focus on a gentler way to workout.

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While yoga can be a challenging workout, it can also be taken down a notch and made into more of a restorative flow so it’s a great recovery type of activity… one I’m actively trying to do more of this year.  With all the stress of wedding planning, teaching, etc., it’s so important for me to take time to take a step back and give my mind and body a little TLC, which is where yoga comes in.

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So I guess that’s a long way of telling you that I don’t have a workout for you today because I haven’t done any sort of workout besides yoga since last Thursday, if you can believe it! I have to admit, so far I have totally enjoyed this break from my traditional workout schedule. I’ve always been a big fan of group exercise and class environments so the fact that all I have to do for yoga is change into my workout clothes and show up is awesome. No planning out a workout. No planning out a playlist. Just showing up. Which is sometimes the hardest part about working out, right?

The last time I did a week of yoga I shared some things that I learned throughout the classes I took. While some of those still reign true this time, one thing I noticed was that it was much easier to get back in the yoga groove since it hadn’t been as long between classes. Muscle memory continues to amaze me- we can go days, weeks or months without doing something and then when we get back into that thing, although it may not feel as good or easy as it did while you were frequently doing it, our bodies remember what to do. It’s pretty freaking awesome, if you ask me!

Even though I am ready to get back to lifting heavy weights and sweating not just because it’s 100+ degrees in the room, it’s been a welcomed week of lower intensity movement that both my mind and body really needed. It was also a nice reminder that it’s good to give ourselves a break every so often- whether it’s a break from working out or going out or working extra or whatever else you may have on your schedule that might be hard on your mind or body- sometimes we just need to slow the effff down and breathe. To shut down our thoughts or our to-do lists or work related tasks. To just be still and let our minds focus on breathing in and breathing out. It’s amazing how rejuvenating a simple act of breathing and slowing down can be for me!

Questions for you- When’s the last time you took a break from a normal activity in your life? Does the break happen easily or do you struggle with straying from your norm at the beginning? Have you done any workouts worth sharing with me for when I head back to the gym?

Weekend Eats & Drinks

Good morning! Our weekend was relatively low-key, but it was filled with some good eats, drinks and restaurant visits so I figured that was worth sharing- enjoy!

Friday

My company always does pizza lunches before big sport games, so last Friday was no exception. I haven’t been in the office to reap the benefits of any of the recent pizza luncheons so it was a nice treat for me this past Friday! I always take a whole plate of salad (if available) and start with that because it ensures I get in some veggies and it helps to subside most of my initial hunger before inhaling 3 pieces of pizza and then feeling sick from stuffing my face with too much pizza!

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I had some gift cards to use at Hopsters so we went there for pizza, salad and drinks for dinner… you know it’s a good day when you have pizza for lunch AND dinner! We got the sausage and arugula pizza and the beet and goat cheese salad- both were fantastic!

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Saturday

After an incredibly hard yoga sculpt class at CorePower (no seriously, it was so hard!!), I met up with my sister and friend Jessi at Loco in Southie for lunch to chat about my bachelorette party. While the margaritas were awesome, I picked the wrong food entrée. The waitress suggested the burrito so I took her suggestion, but it had too many big potatoes and not enough meat… not to mention it was served WITH potatoes. Thankfully my sister shared some of her burger with me which was really good. We ran into one of my friends from work which was such a fun addition to the lunch!

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For dinner, we decided to make some quesadillas. I kept it basic with just peppers and onions and leftover coconut crusted chicken. They were SO good and successfully kicked my Mexican craving that was not satisfied at lunch.

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Oh, and bubbly. Snowy nights most definitely call for bubbly… but then again, I’m not sure what nights DON’T call for bubbly 😉

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Side Note: We finally started to watch Breaking Bad- have any of you watched that show? So far it’s a little intense for my liking, but I’m giving it a shot! We are only 4 episodes in.

Sunday

In traditional Sunday morning fashion, I whipped us up some healthy pancakes first thing. It was another great batch and we think it’s almost time for me to perfect the recipe and share it with all of you! I added raspberries to some of mine and it was a very tasty addition.

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We ended up having RM’s brother and sister-in-law over for the game so I set out some healthy-ish snack food while we waited for the wings to cook. We made two kinds: baked buffalo and then slow cooker honey garlic and I have to say, the buffalo stole the show for most of us! I also made some chocolate chip banana bread bars which were a big hit.

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And that about does it! I hope you all have a great week- and be on the lookout for some exciting news that I’m sharing on Friday!

Questions for you: Where is your favorite pizza place? Did you go out to eat at all this weekend? Where do you go for Mexican food? What did you do for the game?

Five on Friday {11.20.15}

Good morning- Happy Friday 🙂 I know I’ve said it before, but I’m having so much fun writing these “Five on Friday” posts because I can pull any weird tidbit of information I want and one of you can usually relate to at least something in the post so I’ll chalk that up to a win 😉 Also, I’m not sure if this means I have a problem or not, but when I originally typed “win”, I typed “wine”… hmm…

Anyway- on to this week’s Five on Friday!

1. Roasting a chicken- Two weeks ago, I roasted my very first chicken. It came out so good, I decided I needed to make it again for when my parents came down this past Sunday. RM and I agreed that my second one came out even better than the first! The best part? It’s such an easy meal to prepare! All you have to do is pick what veggies you want (we are veggie happy so we did Japanese sweet potatoes, regular sweet potatoes, carrots, celery and onion), chop them up, season your chicken with salt & pepper (I also used Herbs de Provance because that stuff is amazinggg), place some lemon slivers under the skin and then top with a few thin slivers of butter, which creates a nice crispy outer layer.

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2. Friendsgiving- I haven’t ever been a part of a “friendsgiving” so I am SO excited for the one we are doing with my college girlfriends tomorrow. We are all responsible for bringing various things, like Brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes for me, and of course lots of vino 😉 I might also try to make some homemade cranberry sauce- anyone have any good recipes for this?

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3. Yoga strength- As I mentioned on Tuesday I had the opportunity to take a bunch of yoga classes last week. I shared some things I learned throughout the various classes I attended and today I’m totally loving Yoga strength. While it may not feel like the same type of strength as weight lifting, to hold poses, go from high to low plank and do arm balances it requires an incredible amount of strength, especially core strength.

4. New sneakers- There’s nothing better than getting new shoes, amiright?! And, for someone who loves all things fitness apparel related, I especially love getting new sneakers. I’ve tried out my new Saucony running sneakers a few times this week and I have to say, I’m diggin’ them. I like the way my Mizuno’s hug my feet better than the Saucony’s, but the Saucony’s feel more stable when I’ve used them to train in which is great for Wednesdays when I usually run and then teach my class.

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5. Target holiday things– Umm, how amazing is this shirt?! When I saw it, I knew I just HAD to get it. I see myself most definitely over-wearing it 😉

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And that does it! I hope you’ve all had a great week and have a great weekend planned out. Chat with you next week 🙂

Questions for you: Have you done a friendsgiving before? What’s your favorite Thanksgiving dish? What brand of sneakers do you run in? Have you bought any Christmas things yet?