Getting Sexy Back for Me

IMG_7170One of the words I used in my 40 Day Transformation mantra was “sexy”! When I feel sexy in my own skin my entire body feels the pulse of life at a cellular level; healthy, vibrant, confident and happy. On the flip side of this is feeling unsexy; stressed out, a lack of energy, complacency, and possible feelings of depression an hopelessness. In the ebb and flow of life I have meandered through both and I am here to say at my 2 week point of the 40 Day Transformation I am starting to get my sexy back and it feels good! I am sure spending a week with my husband in sunny California has helped but I truly believe the important ingredients to bringing sexy back are as follows:

  1. Move your booty and sweat daily; yoga, run, lift weights, martial arts -- whatever your passion is. (Also, do some of this with your significant other so you can have the high together)
  2. Eat clean for your body and mind; see food as fuel for vibrancy, energy and lightness.
  3. Multi task less and be present in your conversations and relationships; where your awareness flows energy goes so be mindful of where and how you place your attention.
  4. Less phone and computer time and more time outdoors in nature and the sunshine; need I say more?
  5. Take time for self-care and beauty maintenance; get a massage, pedicure, wax, floss. Better still, invest in some quality massage oils and ask your significant other to join you in a partner massage exchange.
  6. Stay positive thru meditation and affirmation; contemplating the oneness of all beings and practicing self acceptance.
  7. Fall in love with yourself; treat yourself in word, thought and action like you would a lover.
  8. Know your values and don’t settle for anything less; if it does not serve you let it go.IMG_7175
  9. Find time to play and have fun; a good belly laugh is great for the libido.
  10. Find balance in striving to achieve your goals, listening to your mind, body and soul and acceptance of where you are today. Understand that change takes place with frequency and consistency.

Many of these things here are listed in my intentions of this awesome 40 Day challenge. Let’s face it, feeling sexy is an important part of being human, feeling pleasure and being alive. That’s motivation enough for me to continue to stay on this path #40dayrest!

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40 Day Reset Michele’s Week 1 Review

nam overhead bwWeek One is in the books. Overall, I would classify it as a success. My food was chosen in the spirit of self-care, freshness and vitality – very colorful and bright. I missed one weight lifting workout. The excuse, 12 hours of travel from Washington to Ohio. Really, I could have woken up earlier to fit it in. This week there’ll be none of that excuse stuff. Gratitude lists and love and appreciates kept me, for the most part, even keeled and attentive to the fact that I am so very fortunate.

I notice that when I live intentionally, I am much more sensitive. My body is almost humming – not quite singing, but it is letting me know it is there. This is a far cry from the many years I spent disconnected from my physical self. I ran and moved and pushed my body, but I didn’t feel it. I didn’t care what it had to say.

I am finding myself more sensitive emotionally too, these past 7 days. Trying to give time to the faint whispers that sometimes arise as well as the loud, pounding waves of emotions that come up too. Typically, I find it mostly interesting and ride the waves with a sense of adventure and curiosity. Yesterday though, was a day where I was pretty much unimpressed by it all. As a yogi, I strive to view my thoughts, actions, emotions from the vantage point of a tolerant observer. Yesterday, I was all critic. Annoyed by my frustrations, my insensitivity, my imperfections. Quickly, in this headspace, with a swirl and a downward pull, I felt the years recede and an old familiar ache. Underwater, hollow and alone, you are not good enough.

I struggled to welcome it all yesterday. I struggled to be kind, generous and gentle. Intolerant of the fact that I have reactions, that I am not always fine, that I cannot control it all. So disappointed, that still, things which I think should be easy take me by surprise with their challenge. Disappointed that I work so hard to be open hearted and at the least little sign of vulnerability, my body rebels and literally curls up in a ball of resistance, as if to say “What were you thinking? This, this here, safe and closed off, this is home.”

I woke up this morning tired, tired but determined. In this life, I get to choose who shows up, I get to choose who I want to be. So with yesterday in mind, I undertake the adventure of Week Two. My intention and desire is to be kind, without exception. To be tender with all my pieces and parts. For Week Two, I choose to consciously make a shift from yesterday’s judging, critical, intellectual mind to a softer, safer, more tolerant place. A place where I get to breathe into the ache and the disappointment, to acknowledge the frustrations and imperfections and beauty and to welcome them all.  I know this place of welcoming too.

This week, I’m choosing to experiment with this in my practice through backbends – my least favorite pose group. I figure no better place for me to practice compassion and kindness than right at my edge. I’ll let you know how it goes!

Classes I have taken, or plan to take this week:
Monday night – Jill’s Kundalini
Thursday afternoon – Julie’s Hot Flow
Friday afternoon – Michael’s Hot Flow
Let’s see if they’ll take requests for backbends :)

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Announcing Sekoia by Yoga on High

image001A new retail concept is launching this fall in our Columbus boutique and also online; Sekoia by Yoga on High. As many of you know, Sekoia is already a popular class on the Yoga on High schedule, offering a multi-sensory experience that blends yoga, reiki, aromatherapy, pranayama and meditation. The high-quality Sekoia products will help students take the Sekoia experience home with them. Read More…

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40 Day Reset ~ Aspirations

photo-5Jasmine. ENERGETIC, STRONG, LEAN, SEXY!

Sadhana -daily practice
Yoga Asana 6xweek (3 in studio classes)
Meditation/iRest Yoga Nidra Daily

Fitness -- kick start the 35+ metabolism
Run/cardio 4x week for at least 30 minutes
Weights 3x week
Plyometric/Core work 3x week

Nutrition – eat intelligent food for maximum energy and nutrition
Kapha Balancing Diet; no sugar, no dairy. Biggest meal is lunch with breakfast and dinner being easily digestable.
1 Gallon of water a day – includes lemon water and detox tea – sip all day
Triphala tea in the evenings before bed

Self Care – feeling good inside and out
Floss daily
Tongue Scrapping daily
Oil Pulling daily
Dry Brush daily
Ayurveda Oil Baths 2x week

Connectivity
Journal Daily – 1 page
List one thing I am grateful for each day
Have one friendship date a week
Chant daily – 10 minutes
Get outside for 30+ minutes each day

Michele. Strong, Lucky, Beautiful, Deserving.

mv-87

Clarity
I practice yoga 6x per week. 3 in-studio classes.
I make time to meditate daily. Minimum 20 minutes.
I get, at least, one 3-hour stretch of totally alone time weekly.
I spend a minimum of 1 hour outside a day. (20 mins for rain days.)

Physical Wellness
I eat whole, healthy meals as a form of self-care.  Five meals per day. Vegetarian, no sugar (fruit’s cool though). 1 “whatever” meal per week.
I drink 100oz of water per day to include herbal tea.

Fitness
I run. For fun.
I weight train 3 times a week -- Mondays: chest, shoulders, triceps, Wednesdays: back and biceps, Friday: legs with plyos and abs worked into each (follow me on my facebook page for some of the detailed workouts.)

Reality Check
I write love and appreciates daily.
I write gratitude items daily.
I list motivations and inspirations daily.
I take time to bask in the wonder of it all (daily!)

Connections
I am a patient and creative mother -- 1 art/science project a week with kids and minimum one legit outdoor adventure too.
I have 1 friend date a week outside of work.
I let my partner know that I appreciate him.
I volunteer my time 1-2 hours per week.

Here are my love & appreciates for today:
I love & appreciate my body, I love and appreciate myself.
I love and appreciate my body, I love and appreciate myself.
I love and appreciate my body, I love and appreciate myself.
I love and appreciate my fingers that allow me to type and communicate with friends.
I love and appreciate my throat, the tunnel my coffee takes to my belly, getting much loved caffeine to my whole body!
I love and appreciate my feet. Especially bare. Especially bare in dirt. Especially bare in dirt in the summer. (And fireflies, I love and appreciate them too.)

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40-Days to Reset, Renew, Revitalize!

1291864_10202017943797919_718946573_oIs there something to this 40-Day Transformation thing? Jasmine and I are determined to find out! Join us for the next 40-Days as we detox, meditate, stretch, strengthen and grow on our personal 40-Day Vibrant Wellness Journey.

Step 1: Contemplation and Journaling
Jasmine and I each take time to contemplate the question, “What might there be for me to learn/receive from the 40-day Reset, Renew, Revitalize Journey?”
After we sit with this question, each of us spent about 20 minutes writing about the feelings, thoughts and messages that came up during the contemplation.

Step 2: Defining our Aspirations and Intentions
Setting our aspirations for our 40-Days will help to keep us focused on our broad desires and also give us a framework from which to set our daily intentions. (Check out my blog on intentions).

For me, when creating concrete goals or aspirations, I follow this formula:

  • - Write aspirations in the present tense, as if they’re already a statement of truth. Instead of “I’m going to eat healthy food” I would write “I eat whole, healthy food as a form of self-care.” Instead of “do an unsupported handstand.” I would write “I enjoy unsupported handstands that feel strong and stable.”
  • - Make goals time bound and measurable. For instance, instead of saying “I want to do more yoga,”I would write, “I practice yoga three times a week in a teacher-lead class and three times at home for 60-90 minutes”. Or, in this aspiration language, I would write “I weigh xxx pounds by October 27th,” or “I am xx% body fat” or “I run a 5k in xx minutes on September 7th”.
  • - Dream Big, but not crazy! While I want to allow myself to dream big dreams, I also want to make sure that my goals and aspirations are within my reality. I love to run, but I’m not terribly fast. Setting a goal of “I run a 17 minute 5k in September” is beyond my reach and sets me up for failure. A more realistic goal might be to shave some time off my PR (personal record). By looking at a training program designed to get me to that time, I can assess how many weeks/months I need to reach that goal and then state “I run a xx minute 5k on October XX”. Similarly, floating through my vinyasas is not a reality for me at the moment. I don’t have to give this up as an aspiration though. Instead, I might look at breaking “Floating” down into smaller pieces and set markers around that -- for example working on Lolasana first with big blocks, then with 1/2 blocks, then with hands on the mat, then rolling my shins parallel to floor, then step one foot back, etc.
  • - Start by seeing the big picture. In my case, I want to feel content and healthy, and ultimately I wish to live as an expression of loving kindness. In living my “today”, I move toward that ultimate desire by devoting myself to what feel like more easily digestible pieces. I know that in order for me, personally, to feel content and healthy I must address my physical, mental and emotional/spiritual being. That means addressing what I eat, how I move my body, how I speak to myself and others, how much rest I get, how much time I spend outside, how much time I have with my family and also by myself, and there is definitely a component of how much fun I have! When I set goals/intentions, I address each of these. (Check out tomorrow’s blog for both Jasmine and my 40-day aspirations.)

Step 3: Sharing our Hopes and Visions (out loud!!)
From experience, I realize that sharing my dreams and goals out loud is a powerful and important step in the “becoming” process. By sharing my dreams/goals/intentions, I hold myself accountable and also admit to myself and the world that there is a specific direction I’d like to be headed. In the past, there were times when I shared my desires for the “future me” quietly, with fear of being judged and perhaps some self-consciousness or some bit of asking for permission. What I learned is that the more I spoke the desire, the more confident and clear I became in “owning” or integrating the vision into myself. It became a statement of fact. One without shame, without fear and without need for external acceptance or permission. I have grown strong in many ways from this “out loud” practice. If you don’t have someone to tell your dreams to, or if it’s still a bit on the scary side, write them down -- seeing them on paper can have a strong impact too -- like a contract (or promise if you prefer) with oneself.

Step 4: Prep Work
If your intention, for example, has something to do with eating whole healthy foods, and your 40-day Journey starts tomorrow, set yourself up for success -- go shopping and stock the house with fresh food. Pick out recipes that you can make ahead and fill the fridge with easy options that will meet your need for this form of self-care. If your intention is to go to a 7a or 5a yoga class, set your clothes out before bed (check out Jasmine’s blog on this). If your intention is to meditate daily, create a spot where this can happen…it doesn’t have to be big or fancy, but make it inviting and easy. Also, try to anticipate obstacles you might face. For instance, I’m on vacation this week. While this presents great opportunities for me to meet my fitness and time outside goals, eating in the way that I want is more of a challenge. I definitely need to spend some time coming up with airport food strategies. This helps ensure I’ll not have excuses to “fall off the wagon” when faced with booth after booth of unhealthy food options.1000600_10151681813011784_2019940012_n

Step 5: Find an accountability buddy
Jasmine and I will serve as each other’s accountability buddies. And in a way, you will be there for us too as we blog about our
experiences over the next 40-days. Get friends to meet you at the park or at yoga class, tell them that you’d love them to check in on your progress and ask how you’re doing. And choose people who will be supportive in a way that feels good and healthy to you.

Step 6: Here we Go! And we’re gonna have fun too!!

xo

Michele

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Yogi of the Month: Michael

Meet our newest Yogi of the Month, Michael Agunga! Although new to the Yohi community, Michael is a dedicated yogi, athlete and writer. Michael found yoga after suffering from a herniated disk in 2013 and hasn’t looked back since. We are happy Michael has made Yoga on High his yoga home. Yoga on High is pleased to partner with Manduka to feature a Yogi of the Month. Learn more about this month’s featured Yogi, Michael. Read More…

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Yogi of the Month: Andy

Meet our July Yogi of the Month, Andy Clingman! Andy is a Reiki Master, Ashtangi, musician and runner. Andy presence is reverent and grounding and his thoughtful nature inspires curiosity. Each month, Yoga on High is happy to partner with Manduka to feature a Yogi of the Month.  Learn more about this month’s featured Yogi, Andy! Read More…

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