Friday, December 03, 2010

Send Your Yogi Friends Yoga-themed Holiday Cards

How nice would it be to send all the yogis in your life a yoga-themed holiday card this year? With three different designs to choose from, you're sure to find a cute one. Each design is packaged in groups of 10 cards plus envelopes. You can order them online at the YogaDudes shop.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Free December Desktop Ready For Download

And this month is a cute one. If you would like to add some holiday spirit to your day, just click on the image above to open the larger format graphic. Once that larger graphic appears just right-click on it and "Save as Desktop."

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Fit in 5 DVD Review

I’ve been testing out a lot of new work out DVDs lately and unfortunately I’ve been finding more that I don’t like than those that I do. But at last I found a winner. I just love DVDs workouts that are broken into multiple shorter segments. It seems I never have time to spend an entire hour working out and these shorter segments are the perfect lunchtime office routine for me. Actually, they are the perfect anytime routine (morning, after work, hotel room sessions) and getting multiple sessions in one DVD always seems like a good value.

This particular video, Fit in 5: Total Body Tone, by Acacia is a very nice well-rounded workout. It includes five 20 minute workouts: Strength, Yoga, Pilates, Abs, and Cardio. No matter what you’re in the mood for, there’s something to suite you. Sometimes I only do one of the 5, but on days that I have more time I combine two. The only one of the five that I’m not terribly thrilled with is the Strength one and I feel compelled to mention why. The moves are all great, but the pace is very fast. Normally I love a fast paced video. Nothing annoys me more than feeling like I’m wasting time. But when it comes to lifting weights and doing squats, form is very important. I felt like this video just moved a little too quickly to allow you to get a good form. I tried it twice and two times it left me with a sore knee so I’m going to caution you on being careful when doing this segment. Just be careful of your form. My tip would be to do all the moves (they are great), but don’t worry so much about keeping up with the reps. Just concentrate on your form and don’t worry about how many reps you did.

The Yoga session is done by Shiva Rea and it is one of the best combinations of relaxing and challenging yoga that I’ve encountered. Seems like most every yoga DVD is either very challenging (and not relaxing at all) or very relaxing, with not much challenge. This routine is my favorite “after work” one. The music and flowing movement just relaxes me, but yet the moves are just the right amount of challenge so my legs can burn while I’m feeling the stress melt away. I don’t know how she does it, but Shiva found the perfect combination.

The couple that leads the Abs session, Fred DeVito and Elisabeth Halfpapp, have become my favorite duo. I reviewed and raved about another one of their DVD workouts and they continue their style with this Ab workout. Some of the things I love about this couple is their no frills approach. They get right down to business. I like the fact that they are not 20 years old. They impress the heck out of me with their strength. I guess this is just the living proof that yoga works and that is always motivation to push harder. And push harder you must do. I have yet to find an Ab workout that I can’t do. I sailed through P90X Ab Ripper X, but this one . . . this one got me. Holy cow it’s challenging and I love the fact that I need to keep at it to get better each time. Totally motivates me to want to do more.

The Cardio session is just plain fun. I always loved cardio kickboxing and this routine is nice and easy to follow. Overly complicated routines just serve to discourage. I don’t want my brain having to work overtime when I’m trying to work out my muscles. Violet Zaki makes this one so much fun that the time feels too short. This is a great one to use a warm up for the others.

The Pilates session is a pure pleasure. I don’t have much experience with Pilates and was pleasantly surprised by how gentle and calming the entire experience was. Kristin McGee has such a soothing and pleasant voice. I could see that it’s a sneaky way of working out your entire core, but yet you feel so relaxed that you don’t even realize your working. This is a perfect session to couple with any of the others. I like to use it as my ending.

I think this DVD would make a perfect gift for somebody wanting to get back into shape for the New Year. I know I’m thrilled to have my copy. I will surely put it to good use throughout the year. You can find more info on the workout and purchase a copy for yourself here.

Monday, November 29, 2010

5 Mile Road Race Under My Belt

Well, I did it. I put that race on my calendar as a goal to finally break my 2 mile mental block. Early on in my very short training period I easily transitioned from 2 to 3 miles and I kept it at that. Since it seemed pretty easy to do 3 I was quite confident that I could muster 5 and I was right!

What a ball I had running this race. It is quite the event here in CT. 15,000 runners and probably the same amount of spectators come out to be a part of this famous Manchester Road Race. Many of the runners dress up in silly costumes and nearly the entire 5 miles is lined with crazy spectators playing live music and cheering on the runners. It's like a parade for both the spectators and the runners. What a hoot.

I ran the entire thing without having to stop for a breather and it was all very effortless. And even more astonishing than that is the fact that my notoriously bad knee didn't hurt a bit. I am truly stunned at the difference in running between my old technique of heel striking and this new and improved "ball of the foot" running. Wow, I can't wait for my next race.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Buddha's Hands

A fellow yogi, a terrific photographer (Sandy Foster), and a good friend of mine took this wonderful picture of a fruit called Budda's Hand. She was shopping at her local grocery store (and knowing Sandy, it was a health food store) when she stumbled upon this ever so strange looking fruit. She was so drawn to it and compelled by it that she bought it, took it home to her photo studio, and captured this beauty shot. I do wonder what the fruit tastes like, what it's used for, where it comes from, etc. Perhaps one of these days I'll do some research. But in the meantime I'll just enjoy this unique piece of art.

Please check out some of Sandy's other work on her web site here:

Monday, November 15, 2010

Super Cute Necklace Just in Time for the Holidays

Since so many yogis seem to love this design on the YogaDudes ornaments, we thought it would be great to offer it as a necklace. How adorable will it be to attend your next casual holiday party showing off your love for yoga in such a cute and festive way?

The glass pendant necklaces hang from a 16" rubber friction clasp cord. The glass pendant is a 1" square. A for a limited time they will be on sale at 25% off the regular price. At only $14.99 they make a great gift and how could you resist one for yourself? You can find them in the YogaDudes shop here.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

New Product Experimentation

We've been playing with some new ideas for YogaDudes necklaces and we're going to give you a sneak peek. The first one is just in time for the holidays. Everybody seems to love this holiday YogaDude so why not make it into a pretty pendant?

And let's not forget about our other popular design . . . the famous Yoga Chick. How cute will this be as a glass pendant hanging on a necklace?

We didn't stop there. We also designed something brand new. This one features the Chinese symbol for beauty with the word "Buddhaful" beneath it. A pretty watercolor background makes for quite a nice pendant.

And lastly we have one more prototype design. This one features pretty blue tulips and the inspirational phrase "May the life within you be strong."

Each of these glass tiles is 1" x 1" and will be turned into pendants with pretty silver bails and strung on rubber cords. They should be in the shop soon. Please stay tuned for more details. Which one do you like best?

More Running Relevations

Two important things happened last week. I broke my 2 mile limit barrier and registered for the Thanksgiving 5 mile race. I guess it was after I easily transitioned from 2 miles straight to 3 miles that I gained the necessary confidence to just do it. I registered for the race and that instantly gave me the motivation to see if I could indeed run 3 miles again. Maybe it was a fluke. Maybe I just got lucky. Nope. I was able to do it 3 more times, quite easily. My biggest challenge was not being able to breathe (or swallow) due to a sinus infection, but hopefully that will be cleared up soon.

During my last two runs I realized a couple more important things about my new running style. I am always on the look out for soft spots to run on. Fortunately I live out in the middle of the woods where the roads are lined by pine trees. At this time of year there is a carpet of soft pine needles lining the very edges of the roads in many spots. I compare myself looking forward to the next patch of pine needles to seeking out the next spot of shade on a hot sunny road bike ride. In my head I'm always thinking, "It won't be long to the next blissful patch of pine needles."

Why is it that I love running on pine needles so much? Do they really provide that much cushion? Or is it that I run just a little bit different on them? I noticed that I do, indeed, run a little different on the needles. I pick my feet up a little bit more and place them back down even flatter. Imagine running across these needles and not wanting to disturb them. That is how I pick up my feet. As if I'm running through wet grass and don't want to get my sneakers too wet. It's just a slight adjustment, but it makes the running seem effortless. When I realized this I started to keep this form whether I was on the pine needles or not. It made a difference.

The second revelation was in the music I was listening too. Normally I have a playlist of fast upbeat tunes to keep me rocking. But given the fact that I never loaded or set up my new Droid properly I just have to take whatever music comes up. I never seem to have the time to set up new playlists. And during my last two runs rather slow music played. The tunes had sort of an R&B smooth jazzy feel. Made me imagine sipping wine and slow dancing. Not exactly the picture you want in your head while running, but strangely, it worked. Let's face it, I'm not sprinting during my run. I'm jogging at a nice even pace and the slow smooth music totally relaxed me and put me into an easy effortless rhythm. My breathing seemed to slow and I felt more calm and relaxed than my normal gangster hip hop music. I was amazed at the effect it had on my run. From now on I'm sticking to slow sultry tunes.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Free November Desktop Calendar

Unfortunately, by now all the pretty colors have faded from the trees where I live. So I thought I would keep a little color going strong on my desktop. If you would like to brighten your computer, just click on the image above to open the larger format graphic. Once that larger graphic appears just right-click on it and "Save as Desktop."

Monday, October 25, 2010

Save 20% on YogaDudes Holiday Items

We just set up a new Facebook shop where anybody that "LIKES" YogaDudes can automatically purchase all products in the shop at 20% off! Right now the shop only includes some our most popular holiday items, but may soon grow to include more. If you're looking for the perfect little gift for the yogi in your life be sure to jump on over the YogaDudes Facebook page to grab yourself a deal. From holiday card sets and ornaments to our most popular t-shirts and tank tops, why not get a gift for a friend and yourself at these great deals.

Please note: You must click on the "Shop Now" box at the top of our page. And if you "Like" YogaDudes you will see the discounted prices after you place items into your cart.

Happy holiday shopping!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

I Learned the Secret To Running

I can't believe it's taken me (an undisclosed amount of) years to finally learn how to run. I mean how difficult should it be really? It's something that tiny toddlers master right after walking. I always marveled at the fact that book (with lots of pages) can be written on the subject. I remember picking up "Running for Dummies" one day and flipping through it just to see what it could say for over 200 pages.

I know that there are several documents printed on how to train for long distance runs and that I always understood. There has to be a formula by which you follow in order to achieve marathon distances. But who knew that the very basics of how to put one foot in front of the other needed to be learned?

It wasn't until I had a nice dinner-time, small-talk chat with some friends that are runners that I came to the shocking conclusion that I never knew how to run. One of these friends is the kind of guy that regularly bikes 150 miles per day. So needless to say, talking to him never really inspires me. The man is just not human. And if he his, he certainly isn't wired like the rest of us. But it was talking to the woman who is my age and training for her first ever marathon that gave me inspiration. I had all sorts of questions for her, the biggest being, "When you first started running how long did you run?" The answer shocked me. She said she could only run for 5 minutes at a time last year. This peaked my interest.

I am a great two miler. With no training at all, at any time of the year I manage to maintain my fitness level to the point where I can easily throw on my sneakers and run two miles. However, I seem to have a mental block at that distance, my body shuts down, and I can't seem to break it. Why is it that I can bike non-stop all day without it phasing me, but I can't run more than 20 minutes? I always thought it was because I have a bad knee and know that anything more will just cause me pain.

So I dug deeper into this conversation and learned this little trick about how you place your foot when jogging. You should be placing your foot flat, or maybe even a little bit toward the ball of your foot. Fascinating. I never really thought about how I placed my foot. And your stride should be short rather than long. Given the length of my legs (long) I always thought I was doing myself a favor by taking big strides. Wrong. My friends told me to think of running as simply just picking up your feet. Your upper body should be as still as possible and when your foot hits the ground just concentrate on picking it back up. They told me stories about people with bad knees and all sorts of injuries are running without any issues because they know how to run with the proper technique. It made me curious enough to test out the theory.

And guess what? I've been running 2 - 3 times per week, effortlessly and with no knee pain. I never thought this could be possible (the no pain part). Now granted I haven't conquered many more than 2 miles, but I'm increasing my distance by 1 or 2 telephone poles per run. The best and most fascinating part of this test is that when I finish running I feel as though as have so much more in me AND my knee doesn't hurt. I still can't believe this is possible, but it's true. I'm so excited to have finally learned how to run and almost motivated enough to sign up for an upcoming 5 mile race.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Free Hip Hop Dance Workout Today

I just stumbled across the free daily workout on the Acacia web site. Today looks like a fun 20 minute hip hop routine. I can't wait to get home to try this! Check it out here.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Free October Desktop Calendar

Autumn is in full swing here in the Northeast. If you need a little help getting into the Fall spirit, make this calendar your desktop background. Just click on the image above to open the larger format graphic. Once that larger graphic appears just right-click on it and "Save as Desktop."

Thursday, September 30, 2010

New Holiday Cards Now in the Shop

Our latest addition to the YogaDudes holiday cards have arrived and are now in the shop! These adorable holiday cards are actually postcards. They are packed in groups of 10 and come with 10 envelopes. The front side features the tree pose among Christmas trees with the phrase "OM Christmas Tree, OM Christmas Tree.“ The reverse side of the card simply states "May Your Days Be Merry and Bright."

They cost $7.50 per pack and are also available at wholesale costs in groups of 6 or more. For more information on the YogaDudes wholesale program, please click here.

To purchase these cards from our shop, please click here. Don't wait too long. Supplies are limited and dwindle as Christmas approaches.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

How YogaDudes Got its Name

We recently received an inquiry as to why a shop named ‘YogaDudes’ didn’t carry more men’s yoga clothing. It was a very good question and I thought that I should tell the story about how YogaDudes got it’s name.

Back in 2005 my husband and I were both getting very involved in yoga. Although we weren’t going to classes at a local studio we were diligently practicing at home with DVDs. We both happened to like a particular Rodney Yee video the best and we ended up quibbling over who gets to take it when one of us had to travel for business. Yes, I know we could have easily bought a second copy, but instead my husband drew himself a cheat sheet representing the entire routine. He had all the poses drawn up using adorable little stick figures. I just loved this cheat sheet so much. I couldn’t get over how cute his stick figures were and I said, “I have to do something with those yoga dudes.” Within a couple months of that statement our first yoga dudes were brought to life. We took 6 of those pose sketches and redrew them in a CAD program. From there we visited a local machine shop and had the figures cut out of stainless steel to make the yoga pose earrings. I couldn’t help but to call them “YogaDudes.” And after receiving such positive response from the earrings, the products and hence the company grew to offer many more cute yoga accessories. The name just sort of stuck.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

My New Favorite Yoga DVD

This is the one that I’ve been searching for for years. I’ve been getting bored with my usual routine and with the next session of my own yoga class coming up I was looking for some new moves to add to my own routines. I live too far from civilization to easily commit to getting to a real studio, and recently pondered joining an online yoga class subscription site. But I found the answer to my prayers and it’s called Exhale: Core Fusion Yoga - Energy Flow.

I love this DVD for so many reasons. First, it’s broken into 5 separate 10 minute sessions. If you’re like me you’re probably thinking, “You can’t get enough out of doing yoga for only 10 minutes.” Well, after you try this DVD you might change your mind. Each and every session is challenging. My heart was pounding and there are some things in certain sessions that I can’t even do. Nothing thrills me more than the challenge of ‘working my way up’ to something. I’ve been doing either 2 or 3 sessions during my lunch breaks. I change up which ones and that makes my 20 or 30 minute routine different just about every day. Whatever my mood that day is what I pick for workouts.

One of the most brilliant things about this DVD is that when you first put it in your computer or DVD player it shows that useless “Consult your doctor” warning. But it somehow knows that you are inserting the disk in the same machine because that notice doesn’t show up again. Nothing annoys me more than having to wait for that to pass every singe time I work out. I just slip the disk in and bam, I am instantly presented with the menu to pick my workout. (Disclaimer: maybe it’s just an iMac that is that smart!) Can’t say enough about how much I love this. No commercials, no intro jabbering. If I only have 10 or 20 minutes to work out those minutes are precious and I don’t want to waste 2 of them waiting to get to the menu.

So you pick a work out, a title screen appear momentarily with a very quick message like “you will need a mat.” And then the work out begins and I’m telling you, they waste no time. You get busy working right away. There’s no fluffy talk about how your great your butt will look in a bathing suite. There are no reminders to smile. It’s just a militant workout and the leaders (a husband and wife team) just tell you exactly what to do. Clean, simple and to the point.

The five different sessions are:
  • Energy Flow: This session really gets you warmed up and stretched out. I use it before my daily runs and I swear I have an easier time running.
  • Sun Salutations 1 & Sun Salutations 2: Although there are 2 sessions for Sun Salutations they manage to be very different from each other. Both are quite challenging and go behind the basic Sun Salutations. My favorite part is the push-ups in between (something that I always used to add to my own routines). It’s quite challenging and boy does it get the blood flowing. There is actually quite a bit of core and upper body strength required to get through both of these 10 minute sessions. Doing them together is the perfect short workout.
  • Chi Gong Hip Openers: I had no idea what to expect here and I was pleasantly surprised. The moves were unique, fun, and challenging. You’re going to get a great thigh and butt work out in this one. Another great pre or post-run warm up/cool down and stretch.
  • Core - This is the one that I have to ‘work my way up to.’ This session requires that you have two blocks. When I first tried it I was in my office using books instead of blocks and that didn’t go so well. You’re asked to hold up your entire body weight, as you balance on the blocks, while crossing your legs in front of you. Like I said, I’ll have to work my way up to that one, but what great challenge.
There are also some great bonus sections including a warm up, a cardio yoga session, and a Savasana and stretching session. I can’t imagine anything more that could be added to this well-rounded yoga masterpiece. All three of these bonus sessions are winners. I still can’t believe how much they packed into this one DVD. You can purchase it online here. If I were you . . . I would get one!

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

September Desktop Calendar

I'm still not sure how it got to be September already. I swear it feels like I just made the August one last week! The precious days of summer are slipping away. Make the most of what is left! If you would like to make the above graphic your desktop wallpaper, just click on it to open the larger format graphic. Once that larger graphic appears just right-click on it and "Save as Desktop."

Monday, August 30, 2010

Grab a Deal on Yoga Journal Magazine

For one day only, (Monday, August 30th) you can grab yourself a one year subscription to Yoga Journal Magazine for just $4.39. What a bargain! This deal if valid for brand new subscriptions, as well as renewals. All you need to do is click on the link below to be taken to the place where you can purchase the subscription. Don't forget, this is only good for one day. Don't miss it.

Click here for the Yoga Journal Deal of the Day.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Hemalayaa Bollywood Boogie Workout

I never even heard of Bollywood until a couple of years ago when I saw Bollywood-style dancing on “So You Think You Can Dance.” It was fascinating–the costumes, the unique style of dance. I was intrigued. I never dreamed I would ever attempt anything even close, but here I am reviewing the above titled workout DVD. I have to say, it was . . . different.

It’s led by a fitness star and yogini, Hemalayaa. She looks like an Indian princess and definitely makes you feel like you’re one too. The DVD is broken into three 15 minute workouts, plus there are a few bonus features (which I have yet to watch). I did all three workouts consecutively and that was not at all hard to do. Maybe the term ‘workouts’ is over stating things. Seeing that I’m accustomed to P90X these were more like fun tension releasers than true workouts. Not sure how many calories I burned (and now that I think about it, I should have been tracking that), but I did have a good time.

The first segment had me wondering if I would get through all three. The movements were odd (but fun) and all I could do was imagine performing this routine with girlfriends and a few martinis. Boy would that generate some laughs. I even imagined getting out a video camera. I was just so curious to see how I looked trying these moves that were so ”flowy” and loose. There are times when you can’t see Hemalayaa’s entire body and have no idea what to do with your feet. These are the times when 'anal Paula' takes over and starts to stress. It’s always a good lesson for me to just relax and not be so concerned that I’m ‘doing it right.’ I truly think the biggest goal of these routines is just to have fun and laugh at yourself (which you will likely do).

The second segment got a little better for me. It was a bit more of a heart thumper. My only issue was that the footwork was the same over and over. This could be a good thing because you don’t have to remember much. Only problem is that if you don’t get it down pat, you’re in trouble. It was a little tricky, but as long as you get the “1,2,3” rhythm down, you’ll be OK. It’s alright if you don’t look just like the leaders. My heart rate got up with all the 1,2,3 jumping around and the best part was that I could feel the tension releasing from my notorious stiff and sore shoulder. I carry all my stress in my shoulders and this routine really made you flop your arms around and release all that tension. This session ended with some very cool ab floor work. I always loved ab work so I was right at home.

The third segment was, as far as I could tell, nearly exactly the same as the second. All the moves were the same, in the same order, with that same 1,2.3 footwork. I may have started to get a little bored by the time I got this far, but that might have been because I couldn’t go around in circles as the video instructed. It was all I could do to keep that 123 timing and footwork. For some reason the minute I tried to turn I was toast. So staying stationary was a bit boring, but I guess that is good motivation to master the footwork.

There is no doubt that is was a fun and different experience. There is also no doubt that I won’t be becoming a professional Bollywood dancer anytime soon, but it will still be fun to pretend I’m that princess.

See more of Hemalayaa’s videos here:

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Horrifying DownDog

Are there any 40+ female yogis that can perform downdog in shorts, look at their thighs and not be horrified? Is it just me having this problem? Here I am in good shape, fairly happy with my overall body, and yet I’m completely disgusted in down dog. In fact I may never do it again. Ok, that may be a little extreme, but I don’t think I’ll be doing it in shorts any more. What is it about down dog that makes my skin look so terrible? I hate it. Yoga should not depress me. And life is so incredibly unfair. My husband is 13 years older than me and that darn bugger can still be an underwear model. His legs and rear end are as firm and chiseled now as when he was a teenager. I’m pretty sure I hate him and I really need to have a word with Mother Nature. Where is she when you need to talk to her?

Monday, August 02, 2010

August Desktop Calendar

The free YogaDudes desktop calendar is back by popular demand! After slacking in July and not putting out a calendar I realized that lots of folks out there actually look forward to these things and I didn't want to disappoint again this month. So here I am, on the ball, with the August calendar all ready to go. Just click on the small graphic above to open the larger format graphic. Once that larger graphic appears just right-click on it and "Save as Desktop."

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Ultima Replenisher Give Away

The nice folks at Ultima Replenisher apparently liked what I said about their products and they contacted me to see if I would like to give away some sample packs to YogaDudes followers. Seems like a good deal to me. They are willing to give away 5 sample boxes. Each box includes 24 flavor packets in 4 different flavors. All you have to do is leave a comment on this blog (or on our Facebook wall). Let’s make it interesting. Just comment and tell me what you think your favorite flavor will be. There are 4 to pick from: grape, orange, wild raspberry, and lemonade.

Winners will be drawn randomly (if we get more than 5 comments). Come on, just list a flavor. You know you want to try them for free . . .

Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Best Yoga Bra and the Best Compliment

This past weekend I was shopping in a boutique in Mystic CT when I ran across a great bra. It seems to be a clever combination of a sports bra and a cami. It has no hooks or wires and is meant to be worn under deep v tops. I was imagining what tops I would wear it under and then the idea struck that it would be the most perfect yoga bra - super comfy with the option of switching out to invisible straps. I was sold! When I brought it up to the check out counter the woman takes a look at what I’m buying and says to me, “Do you do yoga? You look like you do yoga.” I just had to laugh. I couldn’t believe the question and was so incredibly flattered by her comment. When I told her that I had yoga in mind during my decision making process she told me that lots of people were buying these bras for that specific reason. She just wanted to make sure I knew that they also offered a different bra model (without the pretty lace) that was better suited for yoga class. I have gotten lots of compliments in my life for various things, but I have to say . . . hearing “You look like you do yoga” had to be one of my all-time favorites!

And by the way, for more info on this great new bra, please click here.

Monday, July 12, 2010

The Answer to my Dehydration Problems

I recently discovered a product that is the answer to my dreams. I am so bad with getting enough fluids in me. Part of the problem is that I never take the necessary breaks from my day to go and retrieve the fluid. Granted it’s usually just a short walk to the kitchen (either at home or the office) during the week, but maybe the problem is not only my lack of commitment in taking a break from work. Many times I leave the office with a full mug of warm water still sitting on my desk. I think the biggest challenge for me is the fact that I just plain don’t like to drink water. I never drink (what I consider evil) soda and I try to stay away from any sugary drink that contains high fructose corn syrup or caffeine. This seems to severely limit my choices and reading all the labels just gets tiring and frustrating. I wish I could just magically make tap water taste better. No more driving to the grocery store constantly. No more loading up the recycling bin with all of my enhanced water bottles. There has to be a better way.

Well, there is and I found it. The solution is Ultima Replenisher. It’s s a natural sports drink with zero sugar. It contains a full complement of electrolytes, not just a ton of sodium. Ultima also contains complex carbs for energy, water-soluble vitamins and vitamin enhancers for day-to-day health maintenance, and antioxidants to protect body systems from free radicals (toxins). Ultima uses no artificial colors, flavors or sweeteners. Doesn’t this sound too good to be true? That’s what I thought, but it’s really spot on for what I was looking for. It doesn’t taste like Gatoraid or any other really sweet drink. It has just a hint of flavor – just enough to make me want to guzzle down the entire glass of water. The fact that is has beneficial stuff in it, well that's just icing on the cake. I just needed water to taste a little better to motivate me to drink more. And the fact that I’m not filling up my recycling bin with empty bottles thrills me to pieces. You can either buy this stuff in individual packets, which makes it super easy to carry around everywhere you go, or you can buy it in canisters and the price is much less than what you would pay for bottled water.

I’ve been stirring a packet into my water bottle when I go biking, and mixing myself up a ‘cocktail’ of it for my dinner time drink. I even came up with the brilliant idea of mixing up a batch, pouring it into an ice cube tray and then using the frozen cubes to spike my water bottles. Not only does it keep my hiking water cold, but it adds a little extra flavor.

If you’re like me and have been craving a healthy alternative to the sugary drinks and are tired of just plain water, check out Ultima Replenisher at

Friday, July 09, 2010

Yoga on Steroids

I recently went to see one of the amazing Cirque du Soleil shows. This wasn’t my first one. I’ve seen two others in the past and although all the shows were different the affect it had on me was the same. I just get so completely inspired by the sheer strength and athleticism of those performers. It just blows my mind. Made me want to run home and attempt some crazy untouchable yoga pose that I never before thought possible. I mean, here I am complaining that the wheel pose is challenging. Lifting one leg always seemed impossible to me, but I’m watching women on the stage, not only in wheel pose with one air straight up, but HOLDING and BALANCING another human being on that lifted leg. How weak and inferior did I feel? I decided that I need to find some poses that I never dreamed I could do and try to work toward. When I first tried to do the crow pose, I couldn’t do it. Took me weeks to finally get it. Maybe, just maybe, I could work myself up to something really cool and impressive. I need some suggestions on which poses to try, without killing myself. Anybody got any suggestions?

Monday, June 28, 2010

Buying Organic Where It Matters Most

The importance of eating organic foods is not exactly a revelation. I know it’s important. I’ve always known it’s important. But ever since watching the documentary Food Inc. I have a renewed sense of importance. That movie sure does have a way of convincing you to spend the extra money on organically grown and raised food. It’s always a struggle in the supermarket when you have the organic food in one hand and the non-organic food (costing half the price) in the other hand . . .

So when I stumbled across an article in Natural Health magazine that discussed “Buying the Organics That Matter” it really caught my eye. It explains that if you only buy some organic produce, to use the following guide to get the most bang for your buck. This list is known as the “Dirty Dozen.” The most important items that you should strive to go for the organic products include the ones that are most heavily sprayed with pesticides. These include:

apples bell peppers
imported grapes

The items that are the least likely to be contaminated include:

frozen sweet corn
frozen sweet peas
sweet potatoes

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Yoga While Cycling

I’ve read lots and lots of articles about Yoga and Cycling, but never anything about yoga while cycling. Maybe that is because it’s darn difficult to do. But today I had a great experience from stretching while cycling. And before I go any further I just want to say that I am not in any way recommending that anyone who may be reading this attempts to ride their bicycles without holding the handlebars. If you are not a cyclist that regularly sits back and rides ‘hands free’ than perhaps you shouldn’t read any further. But if you’re like me and are accustomed to riding hands free, or maybe you’re a unicyclist, than by all means, read on.

For the past two days I’ve been suffering from (what I think is) a pinched nerve in my upper right back. When I move in certain ways I get strange unexplained shooting pains. Sometimes it feels as though a creature with extremely sharp teeth has a hold of me and won’t let go. Or perhaps this is what it feels like to get shot and have the bullet still lodged in you. Bottom line, it’s no picnic and I’ve been miserable in pain. But, of course, that doesn’t stop me from hiking, biking, kayaking, or doing yoga. I must beat this thing!

So this morning I started my day with my favorite 30 minute yoga routine. By 20 minutes into the routine I was convinced that yoga is going to cure me. I was feeling great. Every down dog and side plank gave me more and more relief and I was thrilled. Until I got to the chair pose. For whatever reason putting my arms out in front of me and slightly lifted is a recipe for disaster. The shooting pains started again and I barely got through the rest of the routine. My spirits were breaking and I knew I needed a bike ride.

Fortunately, the riding position on my road bike was favorable to my pinched nerve and most of the ride was pain-free. But when I deviated from my standard riding position (by standing up, moving my hand position on the bars, or going over rough gravel roads) the pain started again. I remembered a tip I recently learned from a yoga and pilates instructor . . . she showed me a great back stretch that involved hunching up your shoulders, rolling them all the way back and then dropping them as far down as you can. That move completely opens your chest. From that point you bring your arms almost to a ‘namaste’ position in front of your chest, only instead of having your palms facing each other you point one palm to the ground, the other to the sky and clasp your fingers together while pulling one hand firmly with the other. The more tension you use to pull on your fingers, the better stretch you get along your back. It’s pure magic and I performed this little number several times while riding my bike today. I’m pretty sure it’s what got me through the otherwise painful ride. I am going to continue to practice yoga while riding, pinched nerve or not. It was great!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

YogaDudes Wholesale Program

It's been a long and slow process of rebuilding the YogaDudes website and shopping cart. Not something that I want to do again anytime soon. There are still some glitches that we are working out and we are hoping to take the wholesale program for a test drive. We are looking for studios that are interested in purchasing (or at least viewing) the YogaDudes wholesale prices. If you are interested and are willing to help us beta test this aspect of our shopping cart, please either leave a comment on this blog or email us at There is no commitment. We just want to add some 'wholesale users' to the program and get some feedback on your user experience. If you ever want to buy wholesale products from us in the future you should be all set up to do so.

Please help us out and give it a whirl . . .

Monday, June 14, 2010

Introducing Yoga Graffiti

What is Yoga Graffiti you ask? It's a creative and fun photo contest put on by a fellow yogi blogger. For the month of June, she is holding a Yoga Graffiti Photo Challenge to support her teacher Baron Baptise and the Africa Yoga Project to raise $50K in order to deliver a yoga immersion to 300 people in East Africa.

Here's how to participate: Tag yourself (aka strike a yoga pose) in the most fun, creative, and least expected place to do yoga. Be creative. The more fun, creative, or least expected place to strike a yoga pose will get more brownie points. (i.e. a beautiful dancer’s pose on a beautiful beach, although beautiful will probably not get much attention than say holding crow pose in a shopping cart in front of Costco — those carts are big).

Entering the challenge scores you a chance to win a $200 lululemon athletica gift card. All you have to do is submit your photo and donate a minimum of $5 per photo to enter the challenge. All proceeds will benefit Africa Yoga Project.

Please click here for complete details.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Free June Desktop Calendar

I swear I had this done before June 1st. First month ever that I was actually early. But then I went on vacation and now I'm late again. sigh. If you would like to make this image your desktop calendar, just click on the image above to bring up the larger image. Then right-click and "save as desktop."

And a special thanks to Nadia Nasiri of for supplying the photograph.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Don't Miss a Great Deal on Yoga Journal Magazine

For one day only, (Thursday, May 20th) you can grab yourself a one year subscription to Yoga Journal Magazine for just $4.29. What a bargain! This deal if valid for brand new subscriptions, as well as renewals. All you need to do is click on the link below to be taken to the place where you can purchase the subscription. Don't forget, this is only good for one day. Don't miss it.

Best Deal Magazines Deal of the Day


Friday, May 14, 2010

Finding Inspiration from Chocolate

This seems like a great reason to reach for a yummy treat. What's better than both chocolate and a great inspirational note? Thank you Dove.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

My New Motivation to Run

No, it's not because I'm about to go on vacation where I'll be sporting a bathing suit most days. And no, I haven't lost my mind and agreed to run in another race. So why am I all jazzed to get home every day and run? Because it takes less time than any of my other workouts!

I finally completed my third straight season of P90X and I'm ecstatic over the thought of gaining one little half hour back into my evenings. My husband and I normally take a one hour hike with our dogs, but a few days ago we decided to lace up our running shoes and give trail running a try. I always love to test my post-P90X physical condition and not many things test it like running. So we gave it a try and to my delight, I enjoyed it. Well, minus my nasty allergy issues that I always struggle with. Aside from the throat restricting, the wheezing, and the feeling like I'm being strangled, I really enjoyed the run – so much so that we decided to run every night. I'm just loving the fact that our workout now takes 30 minutes instead of 60.

But I can't help to wonder what gives me more of a work out. Do you burn more calories walking at a brisk pace on varying elevations for one hour, or jogging that same distance in half the time? This really has me pondering. I have several unreliable heart rate monitors and it appears that I average a heart rate of about 125 when I'm hiking. I can't get a reading while I'm running so I may never find out the answer to this question. Does anybody out there have and use a reliable heart rate monitor that doesn't require a chest strap? I see many products that you wear on your belt, or on your wrist, and I just can't figure out how they work. I have a chest strap and that darn thing doesn't even work. Please, if you know of a good means of measuring heart rate and calories burned, please let me know.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

30 Day Yoga Challenge

I just stumbled upon an interesting web site. It’s called Dashama 30 Day Yoga Challenge and they are offering a free 30 day program to bring yoga into your life. If you sign up you will receive one email per day that will include a brief (usually about 10 minutes) instructional yoga video. If you are ready to dedicate just 10 minutes a day to a yoga practice this is a great way to stay motivated. So far I just watched the first video and it included 7 minutes of seated stretches. I think these daily emails will serve as a great reminder to take a break from your otherwise busy day in order to something beneficial to your health. Everybody can spare just 10 minutes. I plan to watch and practice with these videos every day before lunch.

Here’s a peek at the promotional video that explains this 30 day challenge.

What do you have to lose? Give it a try!

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Things I Learned This Week

I was on the road this week, on a business trip. This meant that I got knocked off my P90X schedule. I really hate when that happens. Fortunately my last business trip landed conveniently during a Recovery Week which meant that I could manage to keep up in my hotel room. But this time my trip landed during my last ‘real week’ of the program. I’m getting home just in time for my final Recovery Week and it pains me to think that I have to prolong the program by yet another week. Uuugh.

But this week has taught me two things. First, I realized that I soon as I removed the weight lifting and one hour hard-core cardio sessions from my life, my appetite went right back to normal. I have been starving non-stop for the past two months and now here I am, in the middle of a big city, surrounded by great food (on the company tab, no less) and I can’t be bothered with food. I get to normal meal times and almost force myself to eat something, when normally at home I’m counting down the minutes until I get to eat again. This just proves my theory and makes me wonder why I bother burning so many calories a day when it just causes me to eat that many more. Seems like a silly run around on a hamster wheel, but I know that won’t stop me.

My second lesson of the week involves yoga. Because the hotel that I’m staying in doesn’t have a gym, yoga is the best and easiest way to work out every day. And what I’ve discovered is how much I improved by doing my routine every single day. I started out this week sweating and watching the clock in anticipation of the routine ending. But the second day was a littler easier. And the third day even easier. By the fourth day I was stunned at how easily I breezed through the rigorous routine. I know that practicing anything makes you better, but the speed at which you see improvement in yoga by a consistent and frequent practice is astonishing. Practicing once a week seems like you never get a chance to really build those yoga muscles and get in the zone. You are therefore struggling every time you practice. But if you can increase the amount of days per week in which you practice it really seems to pay off. For me yoga went from a chore to pleasure in just 4 days!

I’m curious how many days per week most enthusiastic yogi practice . . . Please share if you will . . . How many days per week to you practice?

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Free May Desktop Calendar from YogaDudes

Here's a nice Springy desktop to usher in May. I tried drawing some cute birds doing "in-flight" yoga poses, but let's just say it didn't work out. Perhaps the simple birdhouses are perfect on their own. To make this your desktop calendar, just click on the image above to bring up the larger image. Then right-click and "save as desktop."

Happy Spring!


Monday, April 26, 2010

The Biggest Drawback to P90X

I've stated several times in the past that the biggest challenge to P90X is the time commitment and now I'm realizing the biggest drawback . . .

I am always starving! I mean seriously, since the day I started this routine nearly 3 months ago I am constantly hungry. And that is very unlike me. My body has a great self regulating ability. It somehow knows exactly what I need to maintain my weight and adjusts my hunger accordingly. When I'm loafing around and not working out for long stretches of time (yes, that happens at certain times of the year) I eat very little, I guess because of my very low appetite. But lately, my goodness, I'm consumed with thoughts of "How long before I get to eat again and what will I eat next?" I hate it. I feel like my husband, who is constantly complaining that he's hungry no matter how much I feed him.

There is still a little piece of me that wonders why I go through all of this. I can just do nothing to work out and my body will adjust to maintain my healthy weight. Seems like it would be a whole heck of a lot easier. BUT, I'm a psycho and I need the rush of working out and I need to feel good about myself for being strong . . . so I'm going to find more to eat now. I think there's a jar of almonds close by . . . and some leftover Easter candy too. I'm on it.

Monday, April 19, 2010

This Was a First

So I think I learned an important lesson about the order by which you perform the P90X workouts. For whatever reason (I truly can't remember) I decided to start this week backwards. Funny this seemed like the perfectly logical thing to do on Saturday. Then, since I already started the week screwed up, I further messed with it by doing only the Legs portion yesterday, saving the Back portion of Legs & Back for this afternoon's lunch time work out. Then I got home and realized more shuffling was going to be needed due to after work commitments throughout the week. I thought, "no problem, I'll just do another weight lifting session today." Well that was a mistake. I tried to tackle Chest, Shoulders & Triceps which is notoriously a difficult one for me and I bonked. This was the first workout ever that I quit before the end of the video. I just couldn't muster the energy to get through the final 3 moves. I am just amazed at how much lifting weights sucks the life out of me. Between yesterday, this afternoon, and this evening I am completely burnt out. As a matter of fact my wrists are almost too sore to type. Yikes. How many more days until my Recovery Friday?

New YogaDudes Tank Tops Now Available

The new YogaDudes tanks are now available in our shop. These soft and stretchy combed ring-spun cotton tanks have just a touch of spandex making them body hugging and super comfortable. They feature a longer length making them perfect for yoga class. The design says Peace, Love, Yoga and would make the great addition to your yoga wardrobe.

You can purchase these new tank tops online here.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

My P90X Yoga Secret

My last posting talked about how I went from hating and dreading P90X Yoga to how I tackled it. A comment from a reader made me realize that I should also explain my little P90X Yoga secret . . .

Like I said before, the biggest challenge with P90X is the time commitment. Dedicating the hours every week is far more painful for me than the actual lifting or working out. And doing anything for more than an hour is like bamboo under my fingernails. I mean seriously, I can't think of many things that I can do for more than an hour – even things I love, I lose interest after an hour. I guess I have a 59 minute attention span for most things in life and it's actually becoming a joke to my friends. As soon as I tune out my friends say, "Paula has reached her 1 hour limit." So here's my P90X secret that I started to do last season.

The hardest and most grueling part of P90X Yoga is the first 45 minutes of the vinyasa flow. That is the part that makes the whole routine seem endless. But when you think about it, the entire routine can be broken into two distinct parts: the 45 minute vinyasa Hell; and the rest of it. So on Yoga day, I tackled the first 45 tough minutes during my lunch break at work. Then I would come home and finish the second 45 minute segment after work. Taking the work out in two pieces made it a million times more doable for me. I don't think you are getting any less of a work out or benefit from splitting it in two pieces and for me, it worked like a charm.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Yoga and P90X

A reader left me a comment today about her delight at finding a blog that discusses both Yoga and P90X. It made me think back to an ironic story that I wanted to share.

I've been practicing yoga for about 10 years now and always dreamed of some day getting my teaching certification. Then 3 years ago I discovered the awesome workout routine that is P90X. I was amazed at how challenging it was and how motivated I was to complete those 90 days. Nothing, and I mean nothing, was going to stop me from my perfect workout record. I would avoid social events to make sure I could go straight home after work and there was no way a cold, menstrual cramps, a stiff neck, nor any other ailment was going to break me.

I got through the 90 days like a champ and in the end I must say, I was looking pretty buff. But the problem was that P90X completely changed my view of Yoga. I went from loving it to . . . well, I'm pretty sure I hated it. The P90X Yoga was grueling and way too long for my short attention span. It turned out to be my most dreaded day of the week. And the so called 'recovery weeks' were torture. They required 2 Yogas per week. I didn't think I would ever do yoga again after these 3 months.

But then the summer came and went and I normally don't do as much yoga in the summer as I'm busy on my bike, in my kayak, and on the trails. When winter rolled back around all too soon I had to make the decision to go for another round of P90X. Of course I did. This time it was different. I knew what to expect and that was both good and bad. Bad in that it was a little less motivating, but good in that I knew I could tackle anything Tony was going to through at me. When I completed the dreaded Yoga routine for the first time during this second session I was stunned at how easy it seemed compared to the first year. Was this the same routine that nearly broke my yoga spirit? The routine got to be so familiar that it got easier and easier.

I reassessed my feelings toward getting my yoga teacher certification. During the first year of P90 I was convinced that yoga was not for me and I would never make it as an instructor. But during year two I had a renewed sense of confidence. Heck, if I can get through Tony's 90 minutes of pure Hell I could do it! And I did it. I even modeled my final exam class after Tony's Vinyasa segment. P90X went from causing me to hate something that I once loved and breaking my spirit . . . . to making me realize that I must be good at it and giving me the drive to just go for it.

So, for me, there is a big connection between Yoga and P90X. After cursing Tony for 90 days I now thank him for pushing me to Bring It and follow my dream.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Yoga Teachers Who Blog

Check me out. I just realized that YogaDudes is listed #2 in this cool list of "100 Incredible Yoga Teachers Who Blog." YogaDudes is listed under the "Yoga News and Inspiration" category. I must say that I'm honored. The idea that I may be inspiring people out there to do yoga and get fit just thrills me. Check out the link and see if you can get inspired by some of the other yoga instructors of the world.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

April Desktop Calendar

I guess you can call this one 'better late than never.' In the honor of Spring and new beginnings I present the April desktop calendar. To make it your desktop wallpaper just click on the image above to bring up the full-sized graphic. Then right-click and 'save as desktop.'

Happy Spring from YogaDudes.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Why Do I Do P90X?

This is a question I often get asked. When friends see my commitment to this work-out routine, in the midst of all my other obligations that make my life one big time crunch, they often wonder why on earth I do it. I manage to stay the exact same weight, and look fit, whether I really am or not. So why bother with all this work and effort?

And today I may even have questioned it myself. I was upstairs, alone . . . diligently working out with Tony while my husband was outside in the 70 degree Spring temps, playing with our dogs. I have to admit, it ain't easy. And sometimes I hate it. But I trudge on. And here's why . . .

As bikers, the first voyage of the season is always bittersweet, especially living in a cold climate. The Spring air brings both excitement and dread. On one hand we can't wait to dust off the bikes and jump back on. But on the other hand we dread the slap of reality when we realize just how cold and long the winter has been. The routes that we tackled with ease at the end of one riding season suddenly pose a much bigger challenge. The legs start off feeling like bricks, the lungs seem so much smaller, and the muscles that were once there have slipped into hibernation. The bike rides that we once knew and loved become a dreadful chore and no biker likes that.

So this weekend was our maiden voyage and it was great. I jumped on my bike and tackled the ride like there was no winter off. I hit the ground running–and running fast–and rode just about the whole route in my top ring. It felt wonderful and that, my friends, is why I do P90X.

Friday, March 26, 2010

New Sterling Silver OM Earrings

Get yourself in balance with a pair of these sterling silver OM symbol earrings. They are the newest addition to the YogaDudes lineup and would make the perfect accessory for any occasion, on or off the mat. The dangling pendant measures ¾” x ½”. They are being introduced at a sale price of $22.99 and will be available at this price for a limited time.

You can find them online here.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Perfect Yoga CD for Teaching Class

I just found another must have for my yoga classes. A couple of weeks ago I set my mp3 player to play songs from just one CD. I thought it would automatically repeat until I hit stop, but no . . . it just ran out of music and left my class in silence. Wouldn't it be nice to find a CD that just runs for exactly one hour (the length of most yoga classes)? Why yes it would. And how about if the CD included a mediation at the end? That would just be too much to ask for. Well, ask and you shall receive.

The My Yoga 2 Go Music CD was specifically created for teaching a yoga class. It includes 60 minutes of continuous music with tranquil gongs at 1 minute and 3 minute intervals that signal the transition of poses while keeping you in the flow of your yoga sequence, it ends with a 15 minute meditation. Even if you don't teach it would be nice to practice at home with this CD. It would help take my mind off of looking at the clock and keep me focused on my practice.

Here's the best part . . . Now through April 15th you can get the My Yoga 2 Go CD for $10 (reg. $19.95). Just enter promo code MUSIC at checkout. Offer is only valid for 1 per customer.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

In Case You Need to Renew or Subscribe

And by the way, in case you don't already have a subscription to Yoga Journal magazine, or need to renew your subscription . . . here’s your chance to grab a great deal on a one year subscription for only $4.29. But the catch is that it’s only good for one day, today, Thursday, March 18th. Just click on the text link below to get the deal.

Yoga Journal Magazine for $4.29

Sting Interviewed In Yoga Journal Magazine

I have a secret. OK, maybe it's not a secret as much as a random fact about me. I am a huge Sting fan and have been one since 8th grade. So imagine my delight to find an interview with him talking about how yoga has impacted his life in a positive way in this month's issue of Yoga Journal magazine. Hey, now that I think about it, I do have a secret. Sting is the whole reason that I started practicing yoga in the first place. I never really admitted that before, but it's true. I also learned how to play the electric bass because of him, but now I'm just starting to sound like a freak so let's get back to yoga.

Check out the interview with Sting and his wife Trudie at:

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

The Cure for Ansomnia

For anybody out there having trouble sleeping . . . I have the solution. It's called P90X and let me tell you–it works. Of course the really bad part is that I can't even stay awake to watch all of American Idol which is really bumming me out. Today was Legs & Back, which means I don't have a prayer at making it until 10PM. Too bad I don't have a DVR. But it is so nice to sleep soundly throughout the entire night. The best sleep ever from good hard work. Works like a charm.

Monday, March 01, 2010

YogaDudes March 2010 Desktop Calendar

This month was a tough one. It's too early to feature flowers, although I really want to hurry Spring along. And I don't want to see anymore snow . . . So here is some simple scenery to distract us while we wait one more month 'til Spring. Just click on the image above to open up the full size pictures. Then right-click to 'save as your desktop.'

Sunday, February 28, 2010

My Rest Theory Was Proven

So after my Friday rest day and my stellar P90X performance on Saturday morning, I further proved my theory today. I had so much energy after my work-out yesterday that I decided to take a nice hike in the slippery snow. I’m not sure if it was the hike or the half a dozen near falls, back twisting, legs flying incidents that had me sore this morning, but I woke up feeling very unmotivated. Add to that the fact that we went out dancing last night where I ate lots of sinful, unhealthy foods and danced until I was worn out.

This morning was the Cardio routine and this is usually one of my favorites, mostly because it’s the shortest of all the P90X routines. Not that I’m a slacker, I just don’t like carving out an hour of my precious weekend day. Well, Cardio starts with a quick 10-minute yoga warm up and I barely made it through. My arms were so tired the Warrior 1s felt like an eternity and the chaterungas, my God I could barely squeak them out. I am usually very strong with those as I call myself the ‘push up girl.’ Normally my strong suit, but today I was doggin’ it. No extra hikes for me today. Just proves my theory about how yesterday’s activities can cause a significant impact on today’s workouts.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

The Importance of Rest Day

Yesterday was the first P90X Rest Day that I actually really rested. I almost always take the rest night off from P90, but I usually still do a lunch time work out. But yesterday I was too busy preparing my next yoga lesson (on paper) and I decided that it would be OK to do nothing all day. After all, I deserve a day of rest. And it was nice.

Then this morning I tackled my third Core Synergistics. Not that any of them were particularly challenging (including the first week), but today I could really feel a difference. I could tell that my body had more strength and energy. I bounced around with my heart rate averaging 150 the entire time, barely breathing heavy. I was actually having fun and the hour flew by. I just had to stop and wonder if it was the resting the day before that made me feel so good. I think I'm going to continue to deem Fridays complete rest days. I really don't think I'm doing myself any favors by working out every day. Your body really does need to recover.

God I love Fridays!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Early Observations from Year 3 of P90X

I’m just about finished with the second week of P90X and once again, I sailed through it. The only observation (besides me thinking that it’s too easy) that I made was how impatient I’m becoming watching the videos. I guess all of Tony’s humorous banter was fun the first time around, but now I find myself yelling at the TV screen, “Shut up and get busy already!” Now that I’m wearing a heart rate monitor I find myself fidgeting and jumping around during his way too long bantering between sets. In that amount of time my heart rate will recover unless I jump around. It just frustrates me.

And on Monday I performed a little test. Shoulders & Arms is one of the easiest and most straightforward routines to follow without the video so I thought I would give it a go on my own. I had my handy dandy little work-out sheet and I went to town. I went from one set right to the next without much, if any, downtime in between. My heart rate was up and pumping the entire time and, get this, the entire work-out took me exactly 34 minutes instead of the one hour the video would have taken. Now if I could just figure out how to perform Legs & Back on my own. Or better yet, Tony puts out some new videos for P90X grads that don’t need all the yapping. I’ve said this before . . . the hardest part of P90X (for me) is the time commitment. I am determined to find a way to get the same benefits, but in less time.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Acacia Rocks

I just love Acacia . . . everything about them. I love their beautiful catalogs and I find that I covet them like my favorite (yoga) magazines. I can't bring myself to throw them away. I keep them nearby and look at them over and over. Just looking at all their lovely products makes me happy.

But now I have a new reason to love them. Their web site just rocks. They recently started (or maybe it hasn't been recently, but I recently discovered) their daily work-outs. They put a new work out on their site every day and they are absolutely free to anyone that visits the site. These workouts are professional, diverse, and a surprise as to what you're going to get on any given day. These guys are just top notch. Thanks Acacia for offering such wonderful things to the fitness community.

Check out the workouts here.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Something Must Be Wrong

OK, something must be wrong. Why is it that I'm breezing through the start of my third season of P90X? I got through Core Synergistics, Cardio, Shoulders & Arms, and now the most dreaded . . . Yoga, without batting an eyelash. I haven't been sore at all and so far, I feel great. I'm just trying to figure out why.

I'm most excited about getting through the yoga routine. This is the yoga that previously nearly broke me. Made me break down and rethink my goal of becoming a yoga instructor. Made me actually hate yoga! I considered it the hardest, most grueling of the P90X workouts and here I was tonight strolling through it calmly and easily. I guess this regular and focused yoga is doing wonders for me–in so many aspects of my life. I'm thrilled.

The only thing that upsets me tonight is the fact that I can't track my heart rate during yoga. I had my chest strap on tonight and got completely distracted at the start of my routine with the constant licking of my fingers trying to wet the sensors. What a PITA that is. Why is it necessary to wet the sensors? Well, it doesn't even matter because I will NEVER get the darn heart rate monitor to work for yoga. It read a steady even ZERO for the entire course of the routine, despite the fact that my heart was pumping hard. It just irritates me that I need to be on the brink of sweating in order to get a reading. I am going to invest in a strapless monitor and see how that goes. Stay tuned.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Yoga Keeping Me Fit

And on the subject of yoga keeping me fit . . . I just got a heart rate monitor and have been using it during my P90X work-outs. I never tracked my heart rate before and I’m still new to the numbers. I’m not quite sure what is high, low, normal, etc., but what I do know is that I maintained an average heart rate (during Core and Cardio) of about 150. And during the yoga warm up of Cardio (when the darn heart rate monitor was actually working) my heart rate was approximately 115-120 – not that far off from my higher intensity cardio workout. I was amazed by this. I just wish my heart rate monitor worked better during yoga. Seems I need to be near sweating in order for it to register and that’s hard for me to do during yoga. Actually, that's hard for me to do period. I wish I could get an accurate reading of calories burned during yoga versus calories burned during the cardio work-out. I think the results would surprise many people. What I know for sure if that my regular yoga sessions are the reason that I’m breezing through my 3rd year of P90X. Thank you yoga!!!!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Start of P90X Season III

This weekend began my third season of P90X. But wait a minute, I must state one small disclaimer . . . I’m not 100% committed to doing the entire grueling 90 days straight like I have for the past 2 years. I decided to take a more laid back approach this year. The truth is that the visible difference in my pre-P90X and post-P90X body is hardly detectable (certainly not detectable with my clothes on). And since I don’t spend too much time parading around naked, my motivation to ‘get more ripped’ is dwindling. I just need to get into biking shape, increase my strength, and get my lungs back. So I’ll take it as far as I need to get back to my comfort zone in strength and endurance.

Now, with that said, I truly cannot believe what I discovered after the first weekend under my belt. I distinctly remember my most sore day in the past was caused by Core Synergistics. I had a terribly sore butt and that was the worst of the entire P90X experience. The first year was, of course, the worst. Last year I was sore, but less sore than the year before. And here I am on my third year (2 years older, mind you) and I wasn’t really sore at all. How can that be? I totally breezed through both Core Synergistics and Cardio (yes, I’m doing the Lean version to start). I was just stunned at how easy it was to to get through the workouts and how 'un-sore' I was after the fact. The only things I’ve been doing lately for exercise are playing with my Wii Active and doing yoga. It’s GOT to be the yoga keeping me on shape.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Rock Goes Zen

I just stumbled across a web site selling meditation CDs, but they are the most unique, and quite frankly, the coolest meditation CDs that I ever heard. They have taken modern popular rock songs and turned them into gentle relaxing mixes. I just loved this concept so much that I had to instantly buy one. It was a hard choice as to which one to buy since they offered my all time favorite band (The Police) on one of the albums. Strangely, and surprisingly, I opted for a different album because it had more songs that I liked. I just can’t wait for the CD to arrive. For sure it will be the background music to my next yoga class.

Take a look at the site here.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Get a Free One Year Subscription to Fitness Magazine

I stumbled across this amazing deal this morning from They are offering their customers a free subscription to Fitness magazine. I'm not quite sure how they will know if you are a customer or not, but it's worth a try at scoring yourself a free subscription. The one thing I noticed in filling out the form is that it requires you to fill out your job title and your company name. But give it a shot. Here's the link:

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Great Deal on Natural Health Magazine

Grab a deal on another one of my favorite magazines! Today only (Feb. 4) you can get a full year subscription to Natural Health magazine for only $5.39. This deal is good for both new subscriptions as well as renewals. If you are interested in natural foods, crafts, outdoor sports, organic gardening and holistic health Natural Health is just for you! Natural Health will help you create a healthy lifestyle in your home and your office.

Click on this link to be taken to the deal.

Monday, February 01, 2010

February YogaDudes Desktop Calendar

In honor of Valentine's Day our February desktop calendar features a pair of elephants doing their own version of Partner Yoga. How sweet. To make it your desktop wallpaper, just click on the image above and a larger image will open in a new window. Right click on that larger image and choose "Set As Background" from the menu list.