Finding My Flow

9/13/2013 Update:

I took about a year off from blogging to give myself more time to enjoy life. After a while I missed writing and sharing through a blog, so I am back at it with my soon – to- be husband on our site livingez.us. I am still blogging about fitness and healthy living (no recipes yet, but surely some to come in the future), along with sharing our love and life in Charlotte, NC.

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Happy Friday!

On Tuesday night I went to a great yoga class at Dharma Lounge in south end Charlotte (Maybe it’s not in south end…I still haven’t mastered all the neighborhoods in Charlotte).

Regularly going to yoga is something I have been meaning to establish in my routine. Kath and I used to be regulars at a morning yoga class while we were at school, and I loved the combination of stretching, toning, and breathing exercises.  However, in the evenings I get home from work and just want to relax.

I forgot how relaxing yoga can be.

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I left the class totally refreshed and calm. Also my arms felt like jello.

It was a vinyasa flow class which means that we cycled through several basic poses. The instructor added poses at certain points and paused to deepen the stretch at others. Vinyasa is known for being more of a “fitnessy” type of yoga because of the speed at which you go through the movements (you also do approximately 3,555 tricep push ups).

Here is a lame 90s infographic that I found online that was the best demonstration of a Vinyasa flow. Unfortunately the colored penciled illustration of a girl in a blue unitard does not do justice to the amazing feeling of really getting into the flow.

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I loved feeling the movement through my body, and being able to focus on my breathing. It also provided an opportunity for me to clear my mind for the first time in a while. I love being busy and going from one activity to the next, but sometimes it is great just be still and not think about anything.

Of course, there were times during the class when my arms were on fire. Or moments I did not think I could hold a pose for one more second. But it all added up to  a great way to relax and revive myself-I am looking forward to next week already 🙂

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Spinach Berry Salad with Curry Dressing

Tuesday night I attended an amazing yoga class (more on that tomorrow). I didn’t have too much time beforehand to eat a real dinner, so I left the class rejuvenated…and hungry! I was craving something light but flavorful, and remembered a recipe I found online a couple weeks ago but had never tried. Luckily my weekly farmer’s market visit’s ensured that I had all the ingredients.

 

I followed this recipe more or less, and was happy with the result. It yielded a dynamic and fresh salad. I liked the contrast between the lightness and sweetness of the berries with the deeper flavors of the curry dressing.

 

 

Today I am on the road again for client meetings. I am still so very sore from yoga, therefore  the goal of today is to not look like an eighty year old as I walk around. I think I will be okay as long as  I don’t need to kneel beside someone or have to reach for something high on a shelf.  🙂

Yoga for Tight Hips/IT Bands

Yesterday I made it to a lovely yoga class that was much more relaxing than the “Power Yoga” Kath and I frequent on Tuesday (although I haven’t been in the past couple of weeks-so maybe I am not so frequent). The class allowed me a lot of time to stretch and enjoy the poses. After a bit of a tempo run on Monday night, yoga loosened up all my muscles especially my tight hips and IT Bands!

Below are some of my favorite poses, my hips and IT band tend to be tight so these help my flexibility in those areas especially. All of the pictures are from Yoga Journal, which also has very detailed directions on how to do the poses as well if you are interested.

Pigeon pose

Low Lunge

"Fire log" I have never heard this name for the pose, but I also cannot remember what my normal teacher calls it...

Revolved Triangle

Also just for fun:

Plow pose

Whenever I try to do this, I start to have visions of breaking  my neck. I know it’s not really logical, because everyone else seems to go into and out of the pose unscathed, but it just makes me really uncomfortable thinking about getting into the pose.

Any other good poses for runners or other athletes? Is there a pose that freaks you out a little bit?

Cannellini Bean and Tuna Salad

This morning I woke up early for some “Power Yoga” at 8. I was not in the most excited of moods to be up that early on a day in which my only class is at 5 pm (I know, the tough life of a college student ;)). I decided to run to the class, since the rec center is about a mile away and it was FREEZING outside. Running woke me up and warmed me up considerably, and got me in the mood for class. The past week, my hamstrings have felt really tight so I wanted to focus on loosening them up.

What felt like hours of downward dog and forward fold took care of that wish!!

The class was amazing, and left me relaxed and energized. I am going to try and go more often, it really is a great way to start my day 🙂

Since Spring Break is only 2 weeks away (woop woop)!! I have adjusted my diet a little to focus on eating more vegetables and less sugars. Additionally, I am bulking up my protein sources and trying to eat more meat, which for me usually translates to fish. The below recipe combines my two goals of vegetables and protein! I will probably eat it over a salad…for my next 5 lunches because it makes a TON.

Cannellini Bean and Tuna Salad

Ingredients

1/2 med red onion

2 cloves of garlic

1 pint carton cherry tomatoes

2 15 oz. cans of cannellini beans, drained

1 12 oz. can of tuna, drained

1 Tbsp olive oil

3 Tbsp lemon juice

Directions: Chop the red onion first and the pour 1 Tbsp of lemon juice over it to take some of the bite off the onions. Chop the garlic, and cut tomatoes in half. Add the tuna, beans, and vegetables to a bowl. In a separate bowl combine the remaining 2 Tbsp of lemon juice, olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Pour over the salad and mix to combine. Makes 4 servings (or lunch for the rest of the week ;)).