Friday, July 31, 2009

Tree Pose August Desktop Calendar

Our August yoga-inspired desktop calendar is now ready for download. A day early I might add. So proud of myself! Just click on the image above to bring up the full-size version. Then right-click on it and "Save as Desktop."

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Incredible Yoga Journal Subscription Deal

How would you like to scoop up a one year subscription to Yoga Journal magazine for just $4.29? That's an 80% savings off the retail price. This deal is valid for new subscriptions, as well as renewals, but don't delay. The offer is only good today (Wednesday, July 29th). I just bought mine. Your turn . . . Here's the link: Yoga Journal Deal of the Day.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Tip for Cycling Like a Pro

I accidentally came across this tip and it's a great one. All this watching of the Tour de France has really fired up my biking passion. But watching those amazing guys flying up the most extreme mountains faster than my usual flats is a bit depressing. Lo and behold, I found the solution . . .

A couple of weeks ago my bike computer (the little device that tracks my speed, distance, time, etc) died and needed its battery replaced. Somehow in changing the battery I accidentally reset the default unit of measure from miles to kilometers. There I was biking along the flats, looking down at my speedometer (which was reading in the low to mid 30s) and I was feeling pretty darn good about my cycling. I guess it didn't take me too long to figure out I was looking at k.p.h rather than m.p.h. Well I liked it so much I left it that way. Somehow seeing my max speed reaching close to 60 and my average always over 25 just plain makes me feel good :-) So if you're a biker, do yourself a favor and switch your cyclometer, even for just one ride, and feel the rush. Close your eyes and imagine yourself in the peleton, if just for a moment.

I should add one little disclaimer . . . I nearly crashed this past weekend due to the fact that I was fixating on my odometer, trying to do the math conversion from clicks (as my European husbands calls them) to miles. So please be careful and just enjoy the high numbers without trying to do the math while riding.

Pedal on . . .

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Better Digestion

Last month I took a wonderful stress-free vacation, during which time I ate foods (red meats, real ice cream, etc.) and drank drinks (alcohol) not normally in my diet. Every night I went to bed thinking, "Uh oh, I’m going to pay for this" and yet I managed to get through a good solid week with no stomach aches. This is practically an impossible feat for me as I normally suffer with stomach aches a couple times per week, minimum. I have become so accustomed to stomach problems that it has just become a fact of life.

Years ago I went to see different gastro-intestinal specialists and was diagnosed with a clear case of IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). I can't really speak for my bowels, but for sure I was become irritable. It's just no fun to live with constant stomach aches and a restricted diet, but over the years I've learned to live with it. I learned what I can and can not safely eat. But I still wondered how it was possible to be stomach ache free throughout my vacation. It was likely a mixture of several things: no stress, smaller portions, and a much slower eating pace. So maybe, just maybe with a little work I could change my evil ways and cure my stomach issues.

When I got home I found a product called Better Digestion. These pills are a natural daily supplements that promise to restore balance to the digestive system through a combination of probiotics, herbal extracts, and enzymes. I'm not exactly sure what all those things are, but I knew I could use more balance in my life so I gave them a shot.

During my years of research with treating IBS I found that the best results were gotten via herbal remedies. I've learned that things that ginger root and chamomile are sure stomach soothers so when I saw that Better Digestion included these things (and many others) I had high hopes. Another thing that caught my eye was 'Amylase' which, according to the literature, is a powerful enzyme that reduces the amount of stress on the digestive system to help break down food. Now I knew I could use that.

So far I've taken one pill a day and I must say, I've been doing great in the stomach ache department. Ok, there was that one night that I completely indulged on the richest, most decadent European layer cake, but that was my own fault. I am happy with the results and will continue my new good habit of being nicer to my digestive system.

Monday, July 20, 2009

I Did It! Yoga Teaching Certification Attained

Well, it didn't take long. I mailed all of my papers (final exam and essay) along with the DVD of me teaching my one hour class and within a week I got the good news. My certificate arrived in the mail on Saturday. I am now officially certified to teach yoga! No idea if I will ever really teach, but it feels so good to have the credentials and to have gained all that wonderful knowledge. My instructor told me that I don't realize my potential and that certainly gave me a little more confidence. Who knows, maybe I will get the guts to teach a real class some day. But for now I'm just going to bask in the glory that I finally made a dream come true. Namaste

Sunday, July 19, 2009

If I Won a Stage of The Tour

Last night the commentators of the Tour de France were talking about all the different gestures that riders have given as they crossed the various finish lines of different stages of the Tour. Seems lots of riders had their own unique celebration gesture, similar to football players entering the end zone during a touch down. They showed some past clips of different riders winning stages and it was fun to see the different personalities coming through in their unique gestures. So on today's ride I asked my husband what he would do if he won a stage of the Tour. It didn't take him long to draw his imaginary sword in the air. And then I thought, "What would I do?" That also didn't take me long to decided. This is what I would do.

Friday, July 10, 2009

What a Relief

I finally did it! I videotaped myself teaching my one-hour yoga class for my final teacher training certification exam. There are no words to describe how excited and relieved I was to have it behind me. But now the stress of waiting and hoping that I passed begins.

My biggest fear is that the fact that I didn’t offer suggested alternate poses for students that may have either been pregnant or have high blood pressure. The truth is that I forgot that I was supposed to do this and after the complete elation of being DONE, there was no way I wanted to go back and do it all over again. But after giving it more thought I realized that even if I did want to go back and tape it all over again I’m not sure how I would offer these alternate poses. My session was very much a ‘power’ vinyasa routine. How could you offer non-inverted alternates to a routine that has you doing so many down dogs that your head feels as though it might explode? I’m really confused with this dilemma. Maybe this shows that I’m really not ready to teach. I guess I just feel that a person that was pregnant or had high blood pressure just wouldn’t be attending a power yoga class. This is really my fault for building a power routine for my final exam. I should have built a beginners’ yoga class that would have allowed me more flexibility. Darn. Too late now. I hope I don’t fail. I just wanted to challenge myself to building a kick-booty class that I, myself, would enjoy doing regularly.

If there are any instructors out there that can shed some light on how I could have designed my dream power class and still incorporated these alternate poses, please do share. I may need the insight to save myself from failing!

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Yoga Journal Magazine Subscription for $5.29/Year

This is such a great deal and I take advantage of it and renew for just over $5 every year. But it's only good for one day - Friday, July 3rd. Click on the link below on 7/3/09 to go directly to the link where you can make the purchase. Good for both new subscriptions and renewals.

Best Deal Magazines Deal of the Day

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

This May Be The Answer To My Sinus Problems

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about my terrible sinus problems and how Down Dog and other inverted poses just makes them worse. I received a comment from a reader suggesting the use of a neti pot. I read about nasal irrigation in my yoga textbooks and have been intrigued by the idea. I've been meaning to buy one and that comment was just the kick in the pants I needed to actually get one. I jumped online and bought one. I was a little disappointed that it took nearly 2 weeks to arrive, but then again the shipping was free so I really shouldn't complain. And the timing of its arrival was perfect.

Today was another dreary, rainy, stormy low pressure day here in CT. It's getting to be the norm around here and I'm getting so used to feeling terrible that I almost forget what it feels like to not have a headache and an all over 'icky' feeling. I start off feeling pretty good in the morning, but as the day goes on I feel worse and worse. The 30 minute commute home from work always makes me feel even worse. By the time I get home all I want to do is sleep and today was one of those days. What a great time to test out this new neti pot.

I have to admit the thought of sticking this thing up my nose was a bit scary. I had no idea what to expect and I knew the first time was going to be the hardest. I survived it OK. During my first go of it I did have that moment of wanting to gag when the salty water touched my throat. But I quickly realized that I was holding my breath; exactly what the directions said not to do. So for the next side of my nose I made a better effort to breathe. Actually exhaling seem to do the trick.

The whole process only took about a minute and I have to say . . . I felt so . . . different. I am having a hard time trying to describe the experience. I really and truly felt 'cleaned out' and lighter. It was amazing and I can't wait to do it again tomorrow. What have I been waiting for all this time without one?

Free July Desktop Calendar

Click here to open the full size graphic. Once the full size image loads, right-click and Save as Desktop.