Tag Archives: yoga

Skip the Gym This Season, Seriously

Let me tell you what an old broad hates about the holidays. People and their cars. Yeah mugs are generally all ’tis the season to be jolly” and such, there’s just too many of them. During this time of year I generally avoid retail establishments other than the grocery store like the plague and even that can be dicey. Now I do happen to be fortunate to a) have a gym that’s not close to popular retail establishments and b)an old broad body that wakes up early sans clock most days to get to the gym, allowing me to avoid said people and cars. However some of you may not be as fortunate. Your gym may be next to the mall or worse, Wal-Mart and you just don’t want to fool with all the hoopla. Well guess what? You can skip the gym and get those reps in…

AT HOME. Surely you didn’t think you were going to get a pass did you?

Believe it or not gym rats there are tons of fitness channels on YouTube. (Now if you already know this, this post is not for you, but feel free gift this to someone else). I’ve been working out with YouTube folks for maybe 5 years now and enjoy the convenience of rolling out of bed jumping in clothes and getting it in right at home. Any type of workout you want can be found there, strength training, cardio, HIIT, kickboxing you name, as well as the more centering practices of Yoga and Two Chi. So to help some of you nOObs along, here’s the YouTube trainers I currently workout with now as well as some of my tried and true faves.

HASFit – Coach Kozak and Claudia are the dynamic duo behind HASFit. They have over 1000 FREE videos on YouTube and a variety of them, HIIT, Cardio, Strength you name it.  Kozak usually does the high intensity moves, Claudia the lower intensity.  These two are not the “HEY C’MON LET’S GET IT” types, they are quiet assassins.  They calmly whoop your tail and you’ll love it.  I do most of my strength training with these two, most recently this.

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BodyFit by Amy – I came upon her by accident, looking for a Kettlebell workout.  I had done most of the ones that I like with my old standbys and was looking for somebody, anybody else and Amy fit the bill.  She has a wide variety of workouts by type Cardio, Strength etc, but also specialty workouts like her prenatal series. I did one of her prenatal cardio kickboxing workouts on a day when I was really sore and it was great to for getting in some light cardio. I generally do Kettlebell and strength training with her, most recently this.

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Lumowell – My standing workout schedule includes 3 days of walking per week.  Some days, due to work, fatigue and downright laziness I can’t make it out of the bed at 0 dark thirty to go to the gym.  Instead of wearing out my carpet with household laps,  I looked for walking workouts on YouTube, found a few that were good but a few years old, then Lumowell popped up. I was like whaaattt is this???? Well the trainer is an animated lady or gent (haven’t done one of his yet), with voiceover ques.  The exercises are great and include modifications. For the workouts I suggest turning the sound down and using your own music if you like exercising to music.  I most recently bumped some House doing this one.

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Now for my faves, my tried and trues, the ones I ALWAYS go back to week after week after week

Yoga – Yoga by Candace, Fightmaster Yoga, YogaTX, Yoga with Adriene – I’ve been ALL over YouTube trying various Yogis, subscribed and unsubscribed to many, but these 4 I go back to every single time.  I can’t tell you why but these are the ones that are best for me and the way I wish to practice right now.

Favorite HIITMAN – Millionaire Hoy.  This dude is non-stop work, energy and talking!  I have never seen anyone do what he does and talk like that at the same time.  What I like, is that he doesn’t hide the fact that he’s working as hard as the viewer.  Every now and again he’ll let out a little scream which is HEEEEELARIOUS to let you he’s feeling it.  I dig him so much and believe in what he’s doing that I joined the BOOM Fist Bump family on his Patreon.  MillHoy has incredible HIIT workouts, cardio, targeted body area workouts, themed workouts and as of late a lot more strength training which, if you can tell I’m starting to ALMOST enjoy.  Check him out, his energy is contagious even at 5:00 am in the morning.

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Do you have enough tools now to skip the gym but NOT skip your workout?  I hope these resources help and that you find the right trainers for you and your lifestyle.  If you have tried any of these folks or would like to make some recommendations, I would love to hear from you in the comments and in all the usual spots.

Until next time, enjoy time with your family during the holidays, but don’t forget about yourself, put in that WORK!

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Photos: YouTube screenshots of trainer pages and MsThorns
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Just Say No

So I go to Walmart to get one thing and as is always the case and I came out with five. Creature of habit that I am I park in the same area and come in the same entrance. At this entrance they have produce on one side of the aisle and exercise apparel on the other. Those merchandisers are no dummies however, I AM because on EVERY trip I peruse the apparel. I mean you can’t be $15 for tights right?

On this most recent excursion I spot a purple jacket and tank, which are must haves, because PURPLE.  I  looked for some track pants but there were none to my liking. For some reason I looked down one of the racks and saw what I like to call “yoga booty shorts”. Thinking since I’m old and hot, ie. prone to a flash or five I’ll try them. They had my size so in the basket they went.

Woke up the next morning for some yoga and decided to give the booty shorts a test run. They were light and and fit nice or so I thought…

Downdog #1 I felt them creeping
Forward fold #2 I felt them twisting
Pyramid #3 I felt them bunching.

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By Svanasana time half my azz was out. I had to snatch that out wedgie before I could relax.

Now I’m not about to say I’m going to say no to the fitness apparel at the Mart. However I will say a hellnawl to those yoga booty shorts in the future…

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Unless they are money back guaranteed to not ride up in to the nether regions of my fanny.

What about you? Have you ever had a wardrobe malfunction with your fitness gear? Do tell in the comments and in all the usual places.

Until next time, see you on the mat where my hind parts will be fully covered.

Also: for more yoga follies check ye olde broad out on Instagram.
Photos: MsThorns

What Do I Do With That? Yoga Socks

By mid-March here in Georgia, winter is just about over. Sure, there are a few nippy days here and there but it’s more warm than cold, more rain and wind than snow and ice.  Though all of the cold stuff is pretty much behind, the effects of winter remain like pale skin and in my case ASHY skin. I’m dry, allergic and eczema prone anyway so I figured that what I was seeing was a case of overuse and dryness on my feet. I was dead wrong, my feet had been done in by:

MY YOGA MAT!!!!

You see I’d stopped cleaning it as much because my hands had begun slipping during practice and I assumed that all that cleaning rubbed off “the sticky”.  The result of that no cleaning schedule ended up on my feet, which meant yet another trip to the doctor and night and day use of:

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EEEEWWWWWWWW!!!!!! Mind you I’d never had this in my 48 years, neverrrrrrrr and I get it from a friggin yoga mat, my own mat at home? Well yes, it happens. Even though I wasn’t in a studio using a communal mat, I was rolling up my sweat and dirt everyday into the mat and that fungus just thrives on it.  I wasn’t about to stop practicing though and figured I’d resume my cleaning schedule after every yoga practice and get something to put on my feet.  Enter, yoga socks.  I decided on two different types: IMG_2032To find out how it went down check out the video below and until next time, see you on the yoga mat. Mine will be sanitized, deodorized and ready for action.

Photos/Video: MsThorns

The Commitment – 30 Days of Yoga

There had to be a way for me to build some consistency in my fitness life but I had to be gentle.  Whenever I’ve been healthy I’ve always gone full tilt for about three weeks at a time before some illness or injury occurred.  Though yoga is more than a fitness thing for me it seemed like building a better yoga practice was a good place to start. So I made a commitment.

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I saw that Yoga With Adriene was holding a 30 Days of Yoga series at the beginning of the year, Ms Overzealous signed up and unfortunately did not complete the 30 days of her program, but a funny thing happened. I actually did practice every single day in January and am still doing so as of this writing. This is no knock against the program as it had a lot of variety but speaks more to my listlessness. I practice with the exception of a few days of “freestyle” and one class at Kaiser, all yoga practice has been with Youtube and primarily with:

Fightmaster Yoga

Yoga by Candace

Yoga with Adriene

SaraBethYoga

A working playlist of videos I’ve done is available here.

I know some of you could care less about Yoga and I’m good with that. What I hope you do care about is Consistency. Are you consistent with your fitness program, your diet, check-ups, rest etc.? Consistency, I’m learning, doesn’t require sweat till you drop, lift till you can’t move dedication, what it does require is effort and a commitment to yourself, to take care of yourself. Can you make that commitment to consistently take care of YOU? Have you already? Let me know how you’re doing so in the comments.

Until next time, commit to consistency.

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Photos: MsThorns

Yogi? Who Me?

Not quite but I do make an attempt to practice daily.  Injury wasn’t what initially brought me to yoga though it was a contributing factor, my head was giving me more problems than anything when I started practicing two years ago.

If 2010 was bad, 2011 was worse and 2012 was the tipping point.  I was white knuckling through depression and failing. I thought that yoga might be helpful since everything else I was doing wasn’t working.  I signed up for a yoga class at Kaiser and it was TERRIBLE.  I go to the first class and it’s packed to the gills so I had to set up in the front. The teacher, lawdamercy was muscular, tan, pretty and blonde and was going through the poses so fast (I thought) I couldn’t keep up. Feeling like a total failure, I vowed to NEVER return again but didn’t keep that vow thank GOD. Barring any ridiculousness in my work schedule or being out of town, these days I don’t miss a week. As for my instructor, Michele Jackson  I’m thankful to have taken my first instruction with her as she is the BOMB. She is so bomb that she has left the program for bigger and better things. Congrats Michele.

In terms of at-home practice I turn to the fabulous instructors of YouTube, one of which is Ekhart Yoga whom I’d written about previously.  My current favorite, who got me through the “summer of back pain”, is Yoga With Adriene  I really dig her because she isn’t all yogified.  What I mean by that is that she doesn’t say a lot of stuff that a beginner wouldn’t understand.  She has a practical, yet joyful style of teaching and is often quite comical.  She also has a really good series of videos called Foundations of Yoga in which she breaks down single poses in a way that makes it easier for the student to approach and practice.  I also really like Ali Kamenova whose greeting “namaste beautiful yogis” is a great way to start the day and Lesley Fightmaster who has a very calming style of instruction, even on poses that I find difficult.

As far as the depression, I’m good now. Yoga played a part in getting me here and I’m thankful for that.  It’s been a great way to reconnect with my body and bring some clarity to my mind.  My hope is to continue the practice into my old age.
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BUT…

If I ever turn into this chick, please snatch me by my yoga pants and tell me to snap out of it 🙂
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IMC1_RH_b3k

Until next time, see you on the mat. Namaste.
Photo: MsThorns

Listen Up Hard Heads

I will be heading back to Kaiser for the 3rd time in as many weeks tomorrow.  Some of these trips could have been avoided.  A look at my behavior over the last year or so tells the story.

  • In the last year there’s been at least three times when physicians have said stop running , heal completely, then return at a slow pace. What I did? Stop running until I felt good and went right back to full steam ahead.
  • There have been at least two physicians that have said lose 10 pounds. I would lose 5 get some good labs and start eating whatever I wanted to again accompanied by wine of course.
  • Two times physicians have instructed me to perform stretching and strengthening exercises for the back, legs and feet. Again once the pain was gone I resumed my usual level of activity which involves pounding the treadmill and pavement and making the move from the Barbie weights to the big girl weights the prescribed exercises are filed away in a folder.
Back in the day my mom and all the old folks use to say “a hard head makes for a soft a**”. Well they were right, I have spasming butt cheek to prove it.

I can’t afford to be hard-headed anymore. I’m older, diabetic and in  perimenopause. I have learned, the hard way I suppose that the body will always tell you when something is wrong. Even though society says push through it, grind it out or at this one gym I used to go to, “go ahead and throw up” this is something I can no longer do. Listen, comply and modify is my new mantra. It’s what I have to do to maintain a decent quality of life as I age.  As of this writing I am forbidden to perform:

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I have stuck to what the doctors ordered, pending additional instructions from my visit tomorrow and follow up with sports medicine.

I know I’m not the only hard head out here. I’d love to hear your hard head stories, what made you stop being hard headed and the results of the change.  If you care to share please do so in the comments, on  Google+ or Twitter.

To all those who have read my lamentations and given suggestions on how to get better, thank you!

Photos: MsThorns

Powered By Soul Spotlight – Michael Wilson Jr.

Oh how I can go on and on about this guy. The Burpee Champ, the Big Tease Chef who tempts the internets with his food porn, the music connoisseur, the politically astute, the wry humorist and the boxing expert.  That’s just the stuff I know about.  He also happens to be the first person that I EVARRRRR “hungout” with in a Google+ Hangout. Introducing my “food husband” Michael Wilson in his own words.

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Vitals

Michael Wilson Jr., 38 creator and host of the Pound 4 Pound Boxing Reportpodcastblog and YouTube channel and regular contributor to Ringnews24.

Tell us about your fitness routine.

I workout at home 5-6 days a week primarily P90X and Neila Rey’s no equipment workouts. Once a week I practice yoga to maintain flexibility.

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Do you follow a particular nutrition plan?

My diet is my weakness. I do drink 64 oz of water a day and try to eat as healthy as I can.  I eat salad 3 days a week and lots of fish and grilled chicken. My main weaknesses are Reese’s Pieces and Snicker bars.

How long have you been practicing your fitness and nutrition programs?

Around 2004-2005 I was heavy, around 250 pounds and my blood pressure was at dangerous levels. I started out by walking at a local park and lost 30 pounds which was cool but I wanted to tone up. Around 2008-2009 I saw the P90X program and started it and have built muscle on the program.

Do you have a success story or testimony you’d like to share?

I no longer take blood pressure medicine and now keep it in check through diet and exercise.

What motivates you to continue to maintain a healthy lifestyle?

There’s an aspect of fear on my part. I don’t want to go back to the days where I was 250 pounds and my blood pressure was at dangerous levels.  Now if I go 3-4 days without exercise I get restless and have to do something.

Do you have a personal motto or philosophy that you subscribe to?

Take care of all aspects of your health, physical, mental and spiritual to maintain balance in your life.  This works in a general sense and for me personally.

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Powered by Soul thanks the man of many talents, Michael Wilson for sharing his story with us.  Be sure to check him out all over the internet by clicking the links in the Vitals section.

If you or someone you know want to be featured in the Spotlight, drop a line in the comments, on Twitter or on Google+.

Photos: Michael Wilson collection