Yoga: It’s What You Put Into It

I am by absolutely no means a yoga guru, but as someone who all but hated yoga less than six months ago, I had a revelation during today’s morning class.

Yoga is all about what you put into it.

You can make each and every yoga class a walk in the park. You can day dream your way through it and do the bare minimum.

Pigeon Pose???

Or.

Or you can push yourself further into every pose, stretching your muscles and making your body work.

Today I pushed myself and it was definitely a workout.

I’ll be 100 percent honest when I say that I used to think yoga was not a work out. I now know I wasn’t pushing myself and I wasn’t immersing myself in the stretches and sun salutations. Yoga is not the same kind of workout as a BodyPump class or intervals on the treadmill, but it is a workout.

Breakfast

After yoga and a long walk with Sadie, I was more than ready for a cold breakfast!

Apple Yogurt Bowl

I made myself an apple yogurt bowl by combining the following:

  • Vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 sliced Granny Smith apple (the other half went into my mouth)
  • 1 c. cooked Flax-Z-Snax butter pecan hot cereal
  • Three dashes nutmeg

Nutmeg Makes Things Prettier... And Tastier

Well Hello There!

What It Really Looks Like When I Eat It

I love the serious staying power that I get from a breakfast that combines high-protein Greek yogurt, whole grains and fresh fruit.

Sch-weet!

Question of the Morning

It’s an open-ended one…

What are your thoughts on yoga? Love it? Hate it? Think it’s a bunch of boo-hockey? Think it’s life-changing?

Share away! ๐Ÿ˜€

Peanut Butter Packets?

Whoa, whoa, whoa.

I thought this was Peanut Butter Fingers?

What’s with the packets?

Peanut Butter & Company

This lil’ packet you mean?

That packet of heaven was tucked into a gorgeous card sent to me by Lisa in honor of my one-year blogging anniversary.

Can you believe I’ve never tried Peanut Butter & Co. peanut butter before?

They make about a bajillion different flavors of peanut butter but I’ve never actually purchased a jar for myself.

I’ve avoided buying Dark Chocolate Dreams peanut butter or Cinnamon Raisin Swirl for fear that an innocent peanut butter finger would turn into a peanut butter hand… and then peanut butter arm, and I would polish off the whole jar in one day.

This Would Be Me

Seriously, it could happen.

This morning the highlight of my breakfast was not the yummy yogurt bowl I created.

It was the packet of peanut butter I slurped down while making my actual breakfast.

See Any Boogs?

More. Give Me More.

So, so good. Thank goodness the packet provided built-in portion control.

Breakfast

After my pre-breakfast snack, I enjoyed my yogurt bowl which I made my combining a cup of Fage 0% Greek yogurt, 1/2 cup of canned pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, sweetener and a large handful of Gerber Graduates Apple Cinnamon Puffs.

Big Baby

These little puffs are full of flavor! Love ’em.

Yog + Pump + Puffs + Spice

The Token Food-On-Spoon Shot

The apple cinnamon puffs mixed with the pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice tasted like fall in a bowl. Too bad the morning chill Central Floridians experienced yesterday was a big fat tease. The heat was back in full-force this morning!

Workout

My workout today was just what the doctor ordered… If I actually went to a doctor and they were to prescribe me a workout, that is.

I started off my gym session with 30 minutes on the elliptical before taking a yoga class.

Today’s yoga class made me sweat! I loved it.

I was really into everything that the teacher was saying. The woman who teaches the 6 a.m. yoga class at my gym has the most soothing voice, but still manages to make the class challenging at times. She’s fantastic.

Also noted during this morning’s class: I have the tightest hamstrings on the planet.

Alright mah friends, back to work fo’ me!

Mind Boggling

Wanna know something that boggles my mind?

A few months ago I hated yoga. I just couldn’t get into it.

My mind would race a mile a minute during every class. I found myself feeling inadequate as I looked at the people who were all surely professional gymnasts and could contort their bodies into the most bizarre positions… and then hold them for a minute or two.

Namaste

I wasn’t until I took a yoga class with an instructor who offered modifications to more advanced yoga poses and was constantly telling the class to practice yoga in the way that feels right to them and their body that I actually enjoyed it. What a world of difference!

Ever since then, I’ve found that my body honestly craves yoga. The way I feel after a solid hour of deep stretching is unsurpassed by any other workout. (You may read about my favorite yoga pose here.)

This morning I took a yoga class after doing 30 minutes of light cardio on the elliptical and it felt fantastic.

My quadriceps and hamstrings were unbelievably tight. I’ve been wanting to take a yoga class ever since I finished the Chicago Rock ‘n’ Roll half marathon a week and a half ago, but I’ve been waiting for the scab/bruise on my knee (thank you, Sadie) to heal so I could comfortably do all of the poses.

Breakfast

After yoga and a quick walk with Sadie, I came home to assemble breakfast. I could have sworn I had a peach in the fridge, but apparently I eat things and forget about them these days. ๐Ÿ™‚

Though I initially planned to enjoy a peach-tastic breakfast, I changed my menu and opted for a simple morning meal of a banana and Chobani Greek yogurt which I enjoyed with a scoop of Polaner blueberry fruit spread.

Chobani + Polaner Blueberry Fruit Spread

Nanner

Though this breakfast veered from my initial plan, it was still pretty darn tasty!

Thursday Goods

Jammin’ Out

Let me just say I love PBF readers!

As a little token of my love for you guys, please enjoy this compilation of ’80s jams that I assembled from your comments on my morning post from yesterday. Get ready to sing and dance your way through the rest of the work day!

Now go make yourself a rockin’ ’80s playlist! ๐Ÿ˜€

“If You Keep Doing What You’ve Been Doing…”

Last night’s foam roller tutorial with my friend Merri started like this…

Merri Rollin' it Out

And ended like this…

"You're on the floor. Clearly that means you want the love."

The floor is Sadie’s realm. Enter at your own risk! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Merri showed me how to use the foam roller to work out kinks all over my body. We rolled away during the commercials of The Bachelorette, which we started watching 30 minutes late since our cable went out! I missed Roberto’s hometown date. ๐Ÿ˜ฆย  (I did see Chris L.’s though and oh-my-gosh how adorable is his dad???)

We also enjoyed a super yummy and super easy dessert that Merri brought with her. She made lemon sorbet vanilla wafer sandwiches by spreading lemon sorbet between two vanilla wafer cookies to make a mini ice cream sandwich. Perfect for a summer night!

Today’s Workout

I woke up bright and early this morning feeling a little down because Tuesday is typically a running day for me in my half marathon training plan. Since the ol’ heel is healing (seriously that pun will never get old), I opted for 30 minutes of cross training (15 minutes on the stair master, 15 minutes on the elliptical) before taking a yoga class.

I haven’t taken a yoga class in almost a month (thank you Exercise Log for bringing this to my attention).

I really enjoyed the class not only for the great stretch, but for a couple of things the teacher said that really struck a cord with me:

  • Every day you decide to work out you make a decision to benefit your health. This is no small feat. Be proud of yourself for making your health and well-being a priority.
  • If you keep doing what you’ve been doing, you’re going to keep looking how you’ve been looking.

The last statement really struck a cord with me.

Of course you can take it in a positive or negative light, depending on whether or not you’re happy with the appearance of your body.

If you like what you see in the mirror, keep on keepin’ on. On the other hand, if you want to see changes in your body, you may need to reevaluate what you’ve been doing in the gym or what you’ve been eating. The statement seemed almost like a toned-down form of tough love.

Take it or leave it, I just thought it was thought-provoking and wanted to share. ๐Ÿ˜€

Breakfast

Breakfast was enjoyed in the backyard with this beast:

"Oh! Hello There."

Sadie was feeling extra chipper this morning, so I enjoyed my yogurt bowl out back while playing fetch with the monster.

"Stop Taking My Picture. Seriously. Throw the Dang Toy."

"Let's Do This All Day! Allllllllllll Day!!!"

My breakfast came together quickly thanks to some fresh berries I had on hand.

Berry Yogurt Bowl

Summer berries on sale = Heaven.

Yogurt Bowl + Vitamins

On the side of my berry full yogurt bowl, I also enjoyed two VitaFusion calcium gummies and one L’il Critters multivitamin. Vitamins that taste like candy and fruit snacks are the best! ๐Ÿ˜€

Question of the Morning

How often do you change up your workout routine?

How to Handle Exercise Guilt

Three Ingredients = Fantastic Lunch

Noodle Bowl

  1. Carba Nada egg fettuccine pasta
  2. Ragรบ marinara meat sauce (My favorite since I was a little girlโ€ฆ Did you know it’s all natural??)
  3. Steamed broccoli

Lunch

As you can see, my favorite noodle bowl has returned in full force.

Pre-Lunch Yoga

Since I awoke at 5:30 this morning and skipped my usual workout, I arrived to work very early. This allowed me to check a bunch of things off my to-do list before lunch, and still have time to skirt out of the office for a quick lunchtime yoga class at my gym.

I knew the instructor teaching today’s class typically teaches beginner and light yoga classes, so I figured attending her class would give me the stretching my body has been craving without putting me through an intense workout.

Since I left the gym because my body felt too tired this morning, I didn’t want to put my body through anything too strenuous today. I want to rock my 8-mile run tomorrow and a day off from strength training and cardio is just what the doctor ordered!

I high-tailed it to the gym and did a quick-change in the dressing room.

Quick-Change

Today’s yoga class was perfect.

Usually I like a more challenging yoga class that makes me sweat, but today’s class was light, easy and sweat-free. The instructor lead us through simple poses that gave my body a much-needed stretch.

I felt ten times better afterward!

How to Handle Exercise Guilt

As it turns out, I’m not the only one who struggles with exercise guilt. It sounds like a lot of you guys also grapple with this emotion and have the desire to overcome it. Our bodies need rest and we should enjoy days away from the gym without feeling like we are slacking off.

After reading through your comments (Seriously, I love you guys), I’ve complied a little list of tips on how to handle the emotions associated with exercise guilt (or basically how to justify why we shouldn’t feel guilty in the first place):

  • Taking a day off often makes your next workout a stronger and more powerful one.
  • Rest days give our muscles time to recover and help prevent injury.
  • Our life should be our priority. Sometimes family members, friends or our job require our time and attention more than the gym.
  • If you struggle with doing no activity at all, do something light such as going for a long walk with your dog, thoroughly cleaning your apartment or taking an easy yoga class.
  • Your body knows when it’s had too much. Listen to it. If the thought of running for five minutes or doing one set of bicep curls exhausts you, that may be your body telling you it’s time for a break.
  • If weight gain is your concern, understand that 3,500 calories equal one pound. Your workout likely burns nowhere near that amount, so taking a day off from the gym doesnโ€™t equate instant weight gain.

So tell me… How many days are you taking OFF from the gym this week?