Exercise! And P90X.

by Christine on April 11th, 2011

filed under Christine's Life Updates, Exercise

Okay, so I am the first to admit it: I’ve been a total slacker when it comes to my exercise. Since my half-marathon in December I kind of called it quits on the exercise and got lazier than heck.

I still am not exercising as much as I should, but with the weather getting nicer, I’m already doing a lot more activity.  This weekend I did a P90X video with my hubby. This morning I actually dragged my sorry butt out of bed and went jogging.  If the weather holds up (aka: it doesn’t rain) I’ll go rollerblading at lunchtime.

It’s me! Working out in my living room. Ha ha, too bad the picture is of me holding “baby weights.” I need to increase my weights, badly!

Hubby has lost a lot of inches since starting p90X! It’s done wonders for him. He’s frustrated that the scale hasn’t moved, but it must all be turning to muscle; I can definitely see a change in his physique. Go honey go!

For those unfamiliar with P90X, it’s a workout video that takes 90 days to complete.  The workout emphasizes plyometrics, which I have always said is the best for fat-blasting and cardiovascular health (read that old post here). It also incorporates strength training and stretching (yoga) and core workouts (situps).  (read my old legs strength training routine here)  I’m going to be hurting tomorrow after the arm workout yesterday. I can’t wait! DOMS is something I love and seek out!

I have a vacation coming up really soon, and it’s important to me that I pack my gym clothes and I use the fitness facility at least twice while I’m gone. Oh, I’ll get lots of exercise in without the gym: swimming, walking, hiking, etc., but I want to ensure that I really get the powerful workout that I need.

It’s springtime, y’all! It’s time to step it up and get some workouts in!

In other news, I finally took a little time this weekend to relax and get some work done around the house. The lawn desperately needs to be attended to, but I broke down and hired lawn care people to do a one-time cleaning while we’re on vacation. Friday I came home after work and read a while and fell asleep early. Saturday I went shopping for some vacation essentials (aka: a bathing suit) and then scrubbed my porch floor…I mean, down on my hands and knees scrubbing! I spent the rest of Saturday playing board games with friends. Sunday was my big cleaning day.  I mucked out the garage and threw a bunch of crap away. I threw a bunch of stuff away in my kitchen too. I sorted out my bills, did 6 loads of laundry, cleaned my coat closet (threw a bunch of stuff away then too), and other spring cleaning. It felt great to throw away a lot of stuff!

I also went through some of my clothing bins and pulled out some cute clothes in larger sizes to give away to a few friends of mine. It was surprisingly difficult to do that. Even though I’m wearing a size 2/4 these days, it is hard for me to part with my Size 12 and Size 14s. I was stuck in those sizes for so long that I worry I will return to those sizes again someday.  Now keep in mind that I have TEN tubs of clothing that is too big for me. I NEED to get rid of some of these clothes! It feels good to get rid of a few things, but I’m filled with anxiety over it, too.

Does anyone else have a hard time getting rid of their “big” clothes?


Yoga background and Primary Series

by Christine on April 28th, 2010

filed under Exercise, General Information

Bootcamp came to an end for me last week, and to take its place I decided to sign up for yoga. I know, it’s hardly the cardio workout that bootcamp is. I plan on supplementing the workout with some gym workouts. (Gotta spice things up, right?)  I love yoga though, and I’ve been missing its place in my life.

I was a little bit spoiled because I began taking yoga classes from a really great Ashtanga yoga instructor. I felt a little uncomfortable at first for the male instructor to walk behind me, put his hands on me, and adjust my stance accordingly. I don’t like strange people touching me — I’ve got real social phobia issues associated with it. However, I soon learned that there’s an incredible benefit to having proper position. Not only do you cut down on the chance of injuring yourself, but much of the time you can go further into the poses than you would have before.

Syntactically, yoga has many meanings. The word is derived from the Sanskrit yoj meaning “to control,” which is a definition I prefer. Yoga is all about control – controlling your body in the poses, controlling the pain, controlling your mind, controlling your breathing.  An alternate root from which the word is derived may be yujir samadhau which means “contemplation” or “absorption.” This, too, fits the practice of yoga; without contemplation, the practice is only half fulfilled. To me, yoga is also the absorption of meditation with physical being.

Most yoga courses follow a Hatha yoga form of instruction; at least, my yoga classes did so.  Hatha yoga combines moral discipline, postures, purification, breathing, and meditation. Hatha represents hot and cold energies flowing through the body (think of fire and water, or yin and yang, positive and negative.)  The goal is to balance the body and the mind of these opposite forces.

If you are looking to start a yoga practice, start with the Primary Series of poses, which is called Yoga Chikitsa. This series of poses builds strength and flexibility and stamina.  After your practice develops, you can move along to the Second Series, called Nadi Shodana. This series strengthens the nervous system. It’s essentially the same as the Primary Series, but goes further into the poses and periodically offers new poses and variations.   The four advanced series are called Sthira Bhaga, which I’ve never done but would love to try someday when my practice gets stronger.

If you are interested in checking out the Primary Series, check these PDFs out:

If you are just starting off, it’s best to have a better visual (than mere PDFs) because proper posture is SO important.  This YouTube video is a decent depiction of just a few poses in the Primary Series:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rAaHx5qsqhY (60 minutes long)

This YouTube video series is something like a 17 part series (each segment is only about 10 minutes long, though, so don’t be too intimidated) that shows different poses. His physique is enough to inspire anybody! There is a strong emphasis on learning to do the Sun Salutation properly. The first video in the series is here:


There is so much that could be said about yoga: its background, the people, the poses, the meditation, the different branches of it, etc.  The great thing about yoga is that it can be modified to fit your goals, stage in life, fitness ability, desire for meditation, etc. It is intrinsically a custom-built program! Why don’t you give it a try today?

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