Yogic Principles in Action

In this blog you will learn the Yamas and Niyamas in Sanskrit and English. How each of these principles is applicable in daily life? What role Yamas and Niyamas play in the Scope of Practice and Code of Ethics for professional Yoga therapists? How will the Yamas and Niyamas influence my personal approach to practicing yoga therapy?

The Yamas and Niyamas are foundational to all yogic thought. They are guidelines, ethical disciplines or pieces of wisdom that you can think of as the yoga commandments. This set of guidelines helps us recognize moments of self-deception such as observing what sort of communication style we are using with others. It teaches us tools in which to distinguish between cause and effect or Karma.  Yamas are restraints, disciplines, attitudes and behaviors (like our attitude we have toward things and people “outside us”- our external world). Niyamas are our inner observances and how we relate to ourselves – our self-care.

According to Doug Keller in The Heart of the Yogi there were traditionally ten each of  the Yamas and Niyamas, however for our discussion today we will focus on the main five in each category of the Yamas and Niyamas that are widely used today. The Yamas are the guidelines to help us interact with our external world, our social environments, our relationships and our code of ethics. The Yamas are Ahimsa (non-violence), Satya (truthfulness), Asteya (non-stealing), Brahmacharya (non-excess) and Aparigraha (non-possessiveness). The Niyamas are our code of personal conduct; it is about self-regulation and maintaining a positive environment in which to grow. The Niyamas are Saucha (purity), Santosha (contentment), Tapas (self-discipline), Svadhyaya (self-study) and Ishvara Pranidhana (surrender).

Ahimsa (Sutra 2:35) at its root means finding the courage to maintain compassion towards yourself and others in all situations. When we don’t meet our body “where it is” on the mat that day we are being violent toward our body.  we are no longer listening to the messages that it is trying to send us. Our body speaks our mind; violence and awareness do not coexist. How we treat ourselves is how we treat those around us.  if we are being a task master and critical with ourselves and then feel as though we are being light hearted and forgiving with others we are fooling ourselves. We can’t be critical of ourselves and forgiving with others. If we can’t be emotionally safe and loving with ourselves then others can never feel safe around us. The pop-culture allegory would be like Pigpen in the Peanuts cartoon.  There is always a “cloud of dust” around him.  People can sense this cloud of harm in actions or thoughts. You can’t expect to purchase orange paint at the store and expect it will be yellow at home when you put it on the walls. I believe Ahimsa helps us build bridges with people by being compassionate, loving and patient.  It nourishes our students.  However, this doesn’t mean we should be a door mat. The most compassionate people have boundaries for themselves. Gandhi is just one teacher whose whole life was based on this one principle.

Satya (Sutra 2:36) Patanjali describes it as truthfulness (being honest with ourselves and others). In our practice when we buy a pose by selling Ahimsa and Satya it is too expensive. We do not need to be cafeteria practioners taking only what we are good at and leaving the rest behind or compromising our truth. Our body is ever changing.  We should love it and be honest about where it is that day without apology or excuses about parts of the body that are healing or unflattering. By letting go of our competition with ourselves and others you can let go of your masks by being authentically you (bold, brave, courageous, loving, honest and compassionate). When we are vulnerable it is a language that connects all of us and allows us to be empathic. We can’t just organize our stuff in a closet and close the door forgetting about it because at some point the door bursts out. We are imperfect beings.  Be careful to not confuse truth with ‘brutal honesty’ or compassion with ‘being right’. Love is a higher vibration than truth and should be your guide in directing you on how to use your truth. By not letting the ego get in the way of the heart we can recognize when we are in need of being right rather than the more important issue of the feeling of others. Sharing our knowledge with love, compassion and authenticity feels better than causing harm to others making them feel wrong or “less than.”

Asteya (Sutra 2:37) while it consists of “non-stealing” it is really rooting out the subconscious beliefs of  “lack” and “scarcity” that cause greed and hoarding in various forms.  When we approach our practice from scarcity and hold back thinking that we won’t have enough energy to do the entire practice we are not operating at our full capacity and trusting that we have the required energy to do our practice. If you attain what you want through honest means you will have no fear. Taking time to use objects in the right way, managing our time properly and cultivating a sense of completeness are ways that we can practice Asteya. How often do you steal from yourself? We steal our time of rest and reflection because we see it as a status symbol or self-worth validation. As we allow demands of others and their perceptions to mold our images it steals our own uniqueness. When was the last time you were on an electronic device instead of being present with the person in front of you?

Brahmacharya (Sutra 2:38) is the moderation of sensual pleasures (mental, vocal or physical). What is the perfect limit for us and why do we move into excess? Learning to tame the mind to distinguish the difference between what the body needs to fulfill our health or dharma and what the mind is making up that we need. We are complex beings and many times we fulfill the surface level needs rather than pausing and taking a moment to view what our soul needs for holistic approach to fulfillment. It is neither obsessing nor repressing that satisfies our desires.

Aprigraha (Sutra 2:39) is non-clinging or simplicity. When we take away our stuff (our possessions) and we face ourselves it isn’t always comfortable, but it is a place of inspiration that makes room for growth to come.  When students look at someone else in class and want to be them and they judge their life against their peer, it is creating comparison and jealousy. Rather than the student looking inward and working on their own body in their own capacity, loving and accepting where they are in that movement everyone has a starting point in which they leave denial and start to grow awareness and understanding.  It is okay to have possessions in life as long as we stay connected to our internal self (our soul).  It is when we use the possessions to feed a spiritual starvation that we get off of our path… remaining connected to our inner desire or our soul’s dharma code and allowing life to flow and trust our journey, determining what is enough for us in all dharma roles that we play (such as child, sibling, partner, teammate at work, parent etc. Remember to check in to see how many rocks we are carrying around with us and learning to let go to detach and respect the circle of life.

Shaucha (Sutra 2:40-41) is purity and at the root concerned with keeping different energies distinct and keeping the sanctity of the energy around us. The sage Manu says “Water purifies the body; truthfulness the mind; true knowledge the intellect and the soul is purified by knowledge and austerity.” By keeping an orderly environment, ensuring that our body is cleaned and free of strong body odors… by coming into our practice and lining up with our peers rather than scattered about the room… this allows our energy to flow and keeps the room clean.

Santosha (Sutra 2:42) being content with what we have already attained and wanting what you already have, accepting what is and making the best out of everything. We may not be ready yet for what we are attempting to do and that doesn’t mean we are bad or “less than,” instead accepting we did our best and tomorrow we will show up and do the same. Approach each asana with an effort of ease. This is a practice of gratitude and grace by approaching each obstacle with love over fear. Sometimes we need to remind ourselves of the adage “accept that which we cannot change, change what we can and have the wisdom to know the differences.” Every day I ask for the wisdom to know which question to ask, the ability to be quiet enough to hear the answer, the courage to accept the answer and the boldness to take action without fear.

                        Tapas (Sutra 2:43) is the wiliness to do what is necessary to reach a goal with discipline. I think of this in a personal practice where wise effort can be discerned as the difference between someone who simply fantasizes and someone who is on a path toward their dreams. It takes effort for anything to bear fruit in our physical world yet we need to balance Tapas with Santosha (effort with contentment) If we try to force things we end up doing harm. If we are forcing an asana we are creating gripping muscles and joints versus meeting our body where we need it to be with effort and ease and allowing circulation and health to thrive. Sometimes we have to underwhelm ourselves so that we will build more desire to reach our goal. I am reminded of the story of the Phoenix… of burning off some layers and emerging as something new so that we can fully live our soul’s dharma… our life’s mission.

            Svadhyaya (Sutra 2:44) is the study of one’s self through careful observation. Taking pause during our over stimulated life and finding our breath, relaxing, and feeling, watching and allowing ourselves to just “be.” At these times we can journal and meditate and almost in an organic manner we can start to see our inner wisdom source guide us to our truth. Being aware of our spirit of exploration within and acknowledging the scared power it holds.

Ishvara-Pranidhana (Sutra 2:45) is something bigger than ourselves. It is about showing up in our life, doing our best and leaving the rest up to the higher power that we believe in and allowing our life to create a legacy that is for a higher purpose than ourselves.  Always asking which option will help the most people keeping self-actualizing as the goal in life and adjusting all of our actions to serve this goal in some way. When we allow growth to happen it brings awareness to our being which can then fully express our authenticity of “self” and celebrate this energy.

References

Adele, D. (2009). The Yamas & Niyamas Exploring Yoga’s Ethical Practice (pp. 21-175). Duluth, Minnesota: On-Word Bound Books LLC.

 

Keller, D. (2004). The Yama and Niyamas. In The Heart of the Yogi: The Philosophical World of Hatha Yoga (pp. 141-146). South Riding, Virginia: Do Yoga Productions.

 

Satachidananda, S. (2005). Sadhana Pada Portion on Practice. In The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali (11th ed., pp. 131-151). Buckingham, Virginia: Integral Yoga Publications.

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What’s your inner voice telling you?

“We all walk in the dark and each of us must learn to turn on his or her own light.” – Earl Nightingale

As a movement professional and coach I allow my clients to turn on their own light bulbs. I’m there as a guide and a facilitator. I’ll help them until they can do it themselves, but at Mind Body Balance we encourage our clients to be independent (not dependent on us). There is a whole world for us to inspire to movement.

There is far greater joy and power to watch someone figure it out for themselves; and they do, as long as you create that “place” in which it’s possible that you will be there for them on the other side. Sometimes you just have to close your eyes, hope for the best and push through to the other side.

Fear is only as thick as a Kleenex.
The body is fluid and open to change. The mind is concrete.
Overcome the concrete mind and the body is ready and willing to be freed.

When it comes to movement, we all have an Angel on one shoulder and the Devil on the other. I know I’m being cute, but think about it. We have the Angel saying, “Yes. Yes. Buy vegetables, attend your Pilates today. You’ll feel better for doing so.” Meanwhile the Devil is saying, “Ice cream, French fries, be a couch potato. Come on, I’ve been doing this “plates” thing for five minutes it isn’t working. Let’s leave.”

Okay so this isn’t a perfect situation of what’s in our head, but you get the point I’m trying to make. We each have two voices; one that is trying to demolish our goals and self-esteem and one that promotes our goals and self-esteem. Some of us might have a whole committee to deal with.

I was fortunate to have a mother that said I could do anything, that I am a survivor. At Mind Body Balance “Can’t” isn’t a word that is said in our studio. As a matter of fact, it’s grounds for a stern “Kim talking to.”

I will accept phrases like:

“If not today, tomorrow.”
• “Every time I try I get stronger.”
• “Yes, I can.”
• “I release and let go.”… Etc.

We all have a negative voice in our head. My negative voice tells me things like, “I’m not good enough, strong enough or worthy enough to get what I want”, etc. You have these voices too, maybe a mob of voices. These whispers are always with us, good and bad.

Starting a yoga practice can help quiet these voices and put them into perspective. There is something to be said for being still, quiet, peaceful and content with our body and mind in this fast paced world. Our life paths take us through light and shadows, we constantly are faced with choices between good and evil, truth and lies, kindness and coldness. These interior voices face off on the battlefield of the mind daily.

Changing our mind’s thoughts to positive (turning down the volume of those negative voices) takes practice. They can be changed as easily as changing a channel on the television from Jerry Springer to the Discovery channel. We are what we “turn on” at the moment. It requires diligent repetition of positive statements, and constant, consistent, constructive application.

Daily practice. Daily practice. Daily practice. Daily practice. Did I say “Daily practice?”

Over time you will observe your interior voice change. Along with this, will come a change in your results. Take charge of your inner voice today. You can tell it what to tell you. Choose the positive voice. You are worth it, and more.

Is your inner dialogue overly critical? You deserve to be spoken to in encouraging ways. You have the power to change your critical inner voice to a loving and supportive one.

Post your most reoccurring negative voice here and then tell us how you are going to turn it into a positive. Feel free to help each other turn that negative voice into a positive. Remember, we are a community at Mind Body Balance. Inspire others to movement.

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Marathon Blog #7

“There is a life-force within your soul, seek that life. There is a gem in the mountain of your body, seek that mine. O traveler, if you are in search of that don’t look outside, look inside yourself and seek that”-Rumi

Well, we just finished up our Trail Half Marathon and I have to say I had to dig deep. My practice long runs went much better for me than the race day run did. I was having stomach issues and found that my shoes for the rocky portions weren’t supportive enough. I had many mental struggles after the 10 mile marker and lost the personal pace that I had set.  When Danny Dreyer talks about it being a mental race he isn’t joking. We did a hard 13.1 miles and I think this took us to a new physical and mental level and reminded us that we still have work to do.

Our next race is in Northville on June 25th. It is a timed 10 mile run of a 12 minute pace. So, you guessed it, we will be working on our speed over the next 6-8 weeks. Don’t let this scare you.  It will come, just as the endurance keeps coming. Remember that the strength of your mind is your driving force through your training. Keep your eye on your long-term goal and remember how far you’ve come.  It’s something to celebrate!

Just as in Pilates, when you hit a certain level of performance you really start to focus on flow and rhythm.  In doing this, it doesn’t mean that the quality of movement is lost; it just means you have to find it quicker and stay centered. As we do speed runs this is also true.  You still must focuses on form.  Good form increases your speed.

Here is a checklist to remember when working on speed:

  •  start slow and gradually pick up speed,
  •  stay focused on your body sensing,
  •  relax your lower body,
  •  allow the stride to be long out the back
  •  allow the core to be strong,
  •  focus on your arm movement as it sets your pace,
  •  pick up your feet (not your knees)
  •  relax the shoulders, hips, pelvis, calves, ankles
  •  remember, effort with ease.

We will be dong interval speed drills and ladder speed drills. Interval speed drills means you’ll pick a pace that you can maintain for a long distance, run this for 1 mile and then take it up a notch for the next mile and then back down a notch for the following mile etc. Remember, to increase speed, just increase your lean. For the ladder drill, start out your first mile slow and then each mile after that pick up the pace slightly. Notice that I say “slightly” and “notch” or maybe even “a gear” I do NOT say to sprint 🙂

Remember this month’s goals are to improve form and learn to use our gears more.

Some additional things to strongly consider: fasting/ detox cleanse & new shoes.

I’ve logged over 160 miles on these shoes. I need to get another pair so that I can have them broken in for the event in October. At this pace I’ll need a new pair in October. I do not want to run on an old pair or a new pair. I will also pick up a pair of trail shoes as well.

I have noticed on the long runs that stuff seems to be coming out of my body through my throat and skin so I will be doing a fast in May and then will continue with one daily fast per week. I used to do this on a regular basis and got away from it. I’ve asked Sherri to talk about this in more detail in May’s Balancing Act Marathon Tip. I really encourage you to give this some thought.

It is time to sign up for your June 25th, July 8th and October 16th race (this one is expensive and goes up in price starting Tuesday) so get signed up you don’t want to be like some of our clients that were shut out of our last race.

Here is a race day schedule:

Month Training for The Half Training for The Full Link to Race
June 25th 10k 10 mile http://www.solsticerun.org/
July 8th 15k 15k http://www.moonlitformarrow.com/
August      
September 10th 5 mile & 10k Mellow full http://www.runwoodstock.com/index.php?option=com_frontpage&Itemid=1
October 16th Half Marathon Full Marathon http://www.freepmarathon.com/

Here is your training schedule for May: (it is now time that I’ll start dividing the long runs out for Half/ Full Marathon)

Week # Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
1 Active Rest/ Nap  Yoga Yoga/ Short Run Short Run Breathing Class/ Pilates Pilates Long Run
2 Active Rest/ Nap Short Run/ Yoga Yoga Short Run Breathing Class/ Pilates Pilates Long Run/ Holistic Health Class
3 Active Rest/ Nap Short Run/ Yoga Yoga Short Run Breathing Class/ Pilates Pilates Long Run
4 Active Rest / Nap Short Run/Yoga Yoga Short Run/Holistic Health Class Breathing Class/ Pilates Pilates Long Run

Week One: This is an active rest week for those that just came off the half marathon. This means short runs are about 45 minutes and your long run is 6 miles. (Interval Focuses of Form/ Speed)

Week Two: Short runs are now 50/60. Long Run for FM is 9 miles & HM is 6 miles (Ladder Focus of Form/ Speed)

Week Three: Short runs are now 50/60. Long Run for FM is 10 miles & HM is 7 miles (Interval focuses of Form/ Speed)

Week Four: Short runs are now 50/60. Long Run is for FM is 11 miles & HM is 5 miles (Ladder focus of form/ speed)

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Budgeting: Fast Food vs. Wellness Services?

“It’s amazing how fast you can go through $7,000 with beer, pizza and The Gap.” –Ben Affleck

People groan at the words budget, exercise, and healthy food. Why? They relate sinking, depressed, deprived feelings to these words. Well, if you have these feelings you aren’t alone. To the vast majority of us, it denotes scarcity, deprivation and limitations; none of which seem pleasurable. Exercising usually means eliminating fun, pain, boredom, sweat, feelings of inadequacy, something we do when we are stressed out. This is not my idea.

My idea is designing a plan to achieve healthy (not magazine) bodies; reaching all those goals you would like to accomplish over time without the heroic effort. Movement should be an enjoyable process not a bitter, restrictive, fearful pill to swallow.

An action plan for fitness and healthy eating doesn’t have to be written in stone, it should be flexible, adjustable and one that reflects your values and your life. All of these decisions and commitments that you make give you the power to change so you don’t feel trapped.  You aren’t stuck.  It wouldn’t make sense to create a plan that made you feel stuck. You can change things if you are willing. 

The power of a plan is that you can decide at the beginning of every week or month how you will spend your calories burned/ your fuel you use, how much, when and how. Then when you add up your cumulative calories burnt for the week or month you see whether or not you want to change your decisions for the following month or design a plan that works for you.  Then, work your plan.

I happily move spending calories I burn in the wisest of ways!

Add up your last four week’s receipts of eating out. I would bet if you commit to eating just a portion of those meals at home, you could afford a Fitness Coach, yoga or Pilates very easily. Notice I didn’t suggest to stop eating out completely; just slow the pace a little bit so you can find some balance between eating and moving.

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Marathon Blog #6:

“Some people think that successful people are born that way. A champion Is someone who has fallen off the horse a dozen times and gotten back on the horse a dozen times. Successful people never give up.” – Jean Driscoll (8 time winner of Boston Marathon, Wheel Chair Division)

The goals this month are to build to a continual running time of 20-30 minutes. It’s all in the pace, folks. Time and patience are required to making it to your first marathon or, for that matter, any marathon.  You need to be at the start line healthy and ready to run. Focus on your form, pace and body sensing; not on measuring.  To establish a strong mental attitude regarding your running: keep track of your midweek runs, plan ahead, space your runs evenly throughout the week and have fun. This is a difficult time in your running program. You must remember what your long term goal is and keep in mind how far you have come!

Congratulations for coming this far.  We are about one third of the way through the training program.  It is time for a celebration.  Treat yourself to something that allows you to reinforce your success (i.e., body work (like a massage), yoga class, pilates, a quality vitamin, new running outfit). Just do anything; something that inspires you and makes you feel great, whatever that may be. Think about it.  For the marathoners, you should be able to comfortably and safely walk/ run about 13.1 miles.  Jump into a half marathon to test yourself.  For the half-marathoners, you should be able to comfortably and safely walk/run about 6.5 miles.  Jump into a 10K to test yourself.   Remember, the events/ races are there to test your hard work and to allow some fun, positive energy in your training.

Trail etiquette:                     
Stay on the trail and follow the marked trail
Leave no trace behind you carry out what you carry in
Run in single file in the middle of the trail
Respect closures/avoid trespassing on private land
Do not disturb or harass wildlife,
no ear pods or ipods please, be in the present moment of nature
Give courteous and audible announcements well in advance of your presence and intention of passing “on our left” and show respect when you pass
Yield to all bikers, hikers, horses, etc. Uphill runners yield to downhill runners, Slower runners yield to faster runners, move over but stay on the trail
Be friendly, let other trail go-ers know they have a friend. “Thank you.” “Hello, how are you?” “Beautiful day.”
Run in smaller groups, it is less intimidating to others
Run with a buddy and let someone know your plan
Thank your volunteers
Familiarize yourself with the course map and have one with you
Be patient with the conga line.  Yell out “Trail—to your left or to your right” the slower runner should stop, step aside and make it easier for the faster runner to overtake.

This is not an all-inclusive list by any means but it should get you in the right mindset come race day to use your social intelligence and to help preserve nature.

Field trip on week two. Start and finish at Silver Lake in Pinckney Recreation Area. From I-94, go to US-23 North, (it jogs in Ann Arbor, and actually joins up with M-14 for a while, but stay on US-23 North), exit on North Territorial Rd.(first exit north of M-14). Head west 10 miles to Dexter Town Hall Rd. Turn Right (north), go one mile and the park is on the left.

Our group run will meet at our Start/ head of our Trail Marathon (running on a softer terrain (such as dirt trails) is easier on our joints, but look out for hard-to-see bumps, holes, tree roots, etc. We will plan to run 5 miles in and 5 miles out.  This will give us just enough of a taste to see what we are up against come race day. This allows us to find the location and see how much time we need to allow to get there. This will also allow us to experience a good portion of the trail ahead of time so that we can practice our hill technique as a group and offer support. This isn’t going to be an easy race, but learning something new keeps our mind vibrant. It gives us zest in life. You are going to face challenges on this run.  Think of it as a new adventure that will help you grow. Remember this whole process of training for such an event was to learn about your body and yourself. Learning can be a stretch goal at times and bring up feelings that are uncomfortable; physically, mentally and emotionally. Allow yourself to evolve as a person and don’t self-deprecate. Remember, I asked Sherri to hold classes at Mind Body Balance for our convenience.  Many of the classes have been outlined to follow the items that will come up in our training. She brings us a holistic way to handle these non-physical aspects of our training.

“In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” –Albert Einstein

Hills?  In SE Michigan? Yes!  This race in May has a few of them and they will bring a challenge to our race. Why did I pick a race with hills?  Because having them included in our training is a great way to build stamina for the Ambassador Bridge and coming out of the Windsor tunnel, etc. There are several techniques that I encourage you to train with in April. If you are doing long runs with me, then you’ll be doing the Munson hill with me too. You can lean into the hill, hinging from the ankle-joint (ankle will stay down) keeping the stomach strong to support the back. Focus your attention only a few feet in front of you. Don’t over-stride up the hill. Pump your arms and walk up the hill. Be patient, take your time get to the top and then you’ll be going down the hill soon  🙂  Let cresting the hill and looking back be satisfying.  Don’t shy away from the hill because (as the ladies that ran with me last Saturday found out) it isn’t as much work as you think it will be; especially if you use my favorite technique of going up laterally. Here is a key element to remember.  Do not overwork your legs.  Your upper body will need to work harder on the uphill and reduce your lower body effort (70/30). Relax, shorten your stride, and shift your speed down. Think of a car shifting to go up a steep hill, Pump your arms forward (start at the hips and bring the hand up as if you were going to throw an uppercut to your chin) and lean into the hill. Memorize this check list to use when faced with a hill: shorten your stride, lean into the hill, swing the arms up to the face, relax your lower half and keep your heels down.

Okay, so I mentioned that I’m a fan of lateral up the hill. Now you can go half-way up the hill one way and then switch to do the other half or if you have a lot hills in your run just do one hill one way and one hill the other so that you are working your body uniformly. Going up a steep hill is difficult.  If you overstretch your Achilles tendons you will tire out your calves quickly and keep you from moving forward with zest. So, turn your hips into the hill and move laterally up it. It is like a cross step up the hill with your heels down so that your Achilles tendons aren’t overstretched and the calves don’t get over worked. The beauty of it is that you are using lateral muscles of the leg, it is like using a fresh set of muscles. This allows our body to work one set of muscles for running and one set for going up the hill conserving our energy. So, turn into that hill and go up it half-way one way and half-way up the other way.  Others might look at you funny, giggle or call you a newbie, but guaranteed they’ll give it a try out on their next run and start laughing at how easy it is.

Downhill running.  Relax (quads and calves) and surrender to the speed. Let the leg and pelvis rotate as need be.  Come into your 100 curl.  This will protect the lower back and sacrum.  Take smaller steps, zigzag down the hill if there is enough room, relax your shoulders away from your ears, let your body-weight ride softly down on your heels using the back of your legs as brakes and stay off your toes, think of dropping your tail bone down to your heels. This is new terrain for us so be present, do our body sensing

Water, carbs, etc….thanks to our ultra-athlete/ MBB member (Mary Kapp) I’ve been trying out some water devices because it has become the time where we need to start bringing our own water and carb/ electrolyte replacements on our long runs and to our events.  You can’t always count on the supplies at an event, that it agrees with our system or that it is timed when you need it).  So far, I like the Amphipod handheld thermal lite 12 oz.  It retails for about $22.  Here is a link to learn more and/or purchase. http://www.amphipod.com/products/hydration/bottles-handhelds/handhelds/handheld-thermal-lite-12oz

I personally have found a great recovery when I fill it with coconut water (Meijer, Health Matters, Trader Joes, Whole Foods all carry this) and 2 oz. of my Body Balance liquid vitamin (purchase this from Sherri Eby). I’ve been testing this vitamin out at Sherri Eby’s request for about 2 months now. I was sold when I started to include an extra dose during my long runs. The recovery is amazing, no soreness at all :), no deep fatigue the next day (just an hour early to bed and a nap on Sunday and I’m like new). I’d been testing out some Gu (carb/ electrolyte gels) and Mary and Tressa have gone shopping for me as well (thank you ladies for spoiling me). Some of the gels didn’t settle well in my stomach and the ingredient label was a bit scary too. So, once again I went to our resident natural-path and asked her to whip something up.  Sure enough, she took that challenge on and accomplished it. The natural “gu” is superb and we are in the process of just finding a better package for it.  But the important stuff to know is that the stuff that goes in it is better than anything on the market 🙂 Five gold stars for Sherri!  Mind Body Balance will be handing out one container of this mix to each of you at the 10K (so make sure we know you are signed up by commenting on this blog, otherwise you will be left out).  If you like it then Sherri will let you know how to order more from her for future events and long runs. My second choice is Honey Stinger Organic Energy Gel.

Upcoming events to sign up for:   http://www.solsticerun.org/  This is the link for our next race after the half-marathon. This event is on Saturday, June 25, 2011 in Northville, Mi. It is a solstice run to benefit cancer. This is a 10 mile run and it does have a requirement of keeping a twelve minute pace or we will be disqualified at the eight mile mark. This will push us to keep up with our training schedule 🙂 If this is too much pressure, or if you are training for the half in October, then sign up for the 10K. This race will fill up quickly and the deadline to register is May 15 for $40.  After this the rate goes up. This one has a really cool shirt.

http://www.moonlitformarrow.com/ this is a link for our following race which is Friday, July 8, 2011 in Greenville, MI  It’s a little bit of a drive so we should carpool. This is the moonlit miles for marrow run.  It benefits marrow and stem cell programs. This is a 15K (9.3 miles) trail run in the evening.  Again, this will take one of our training sessions off the pavement and onto a softer surface. The cost for this race is $37.90.

If you hear of other runs in our community or runs that you find that look fun. Please post them on our blog in the comment sections so that others can see it and sign up too. Make sure you include a link to the registration site for the race so that we can find it with ease.

Week #1 Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
1          Active Rest & Nap Short Run & Yoga Yoga Short Run Pilates Pilates Long Run/ 10K Event
2 Active Rest & Nap Short Run & Yoga Yoga Short Run Pilates Pilates Long Run/ Field Trip Run
3 Active Rest & Nap Short Run & Yoga Yoga Short Run Pilates Pilates Long Run
4 Active Rest & Nap Short Run & Yoga Yoga Short Run Pilates Pilates Long Run/ Happy Easter no Group Run
5 Active Rest & Nap Short Run & Yoga Yoga Short Run and Sherri’s Class on releasing stress and creating beauty Pilates Pilates Rest and eat right our Event is tomorrow

 

Week One: Short run is 40/50 and a long run is our 10K. Remember to do a five minute warm-up and cool down. Congratulations you are a runner. Body sense and watch your heart-rate monitor to determine when and if you need to walk.

Week Two: Short run is 40/50 and a long run is 10 miles. Remember to do a five minute warm-up and cool down. Congratulations you are a runner. Body sense and watch your heart-rate monitor to determine when and if you need to walk.

Week Three: Short run is 40/50 and a long run is 9 miles. Remember to do a five minute warm-up and cool down. Congratulations you are a runner. Body sense and watch your heart-rate monitor to determine when and if you need to walk.

Week Four:  Short Run is 40/50 and a long run is 4 miles. Remember to do a five minute warm-up and cool down. Congratulations you are a runner. Body sense and watch your heart-rate monitor to determine when and if you need to walk.

Week Five: Short run is 25/35 and a long run is our first half-marathon. Remember to do a five minute warm-up and cool down. Congratulations you are a runner. Body sense and watch your heart-rate monitor to determine when and if you need to walk.

 In Chi Running or Walking by Danny Dreyer read chapters 10 and/or get caught up.

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Consistency is Everything!

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” –Aristotle.

Wow, I think this is a very powerful statement. Do you know that it takes 21 days to change a habit and 21 months to change a lifestyle? If we are cruising along and we “fall down” on day 15, then the “21 days to a new habit” period starts over again.  The same goes for the 21 months.

Knowing how much fuel you use and how much fuel you put into your body is tangible, concrete. You can count it.  You can calculate your results with a small margin of error. Demonstrate this by keeping a journal for yourself.

Change your thoughts about your body and practice affirmations daily. If you are already doing this, do more of them and use them more often throughout your day.  Maybe even more importantly, stop that negative mind chatter.  Stop having negative thoughts about your body.  You can’t resent those that have mastered the skills of health, or have spiteful opinions of people changing their health for the better.

Give up:

 

  • Being a victim,
  • Resentfulness,
  • Anger,
  • Jealousy

 

Appreciate and love the body you have, and other’s bodies.  Once you’ve mastered your positive thoughts about your body, turn them into actions.

 

  • Quality movement
  • Quality nourishment

 

Start with a couple of  items, like taking a ten minute walk after every meal, then move to eating more vegetables during the week and watch how these small efforts bring joy to your life.  Watch how other health habits flow more easily into your life.  Notice how much easier work becomes.

At the end of the month, count the calories.  Add them up to the cumulative total that you’ve expended.  Have you spent more calories then you did before? If your answer is “Yes!” then congratulations on a job well done!  My movement calories are piled high with treasures for my body and I’m unloading them today!

Here is the secret. Keep doing this! Consistency is everything! A lot of us say “Alright! We made it!” and then we stop moving (after we just had amazing results) and just revert to our old, ingrained habits. Sometimes we think we’ve conquered the “mind thing” and don’t have to work at it any more.  No more affirmations.  Guess what?  We sink.  We “roller-coaster” again with our health and ask ourselves, “How did this happen?” Or we accomplish the thinking part, like the affirmations, and stop moving; like the affirmations will work like some magic dust over our body. Nope.  We need to go back to that tangible, concrete method.

  • Fuel in – Fuel out.

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Marathon Blog #5

Well our first event (The 5K) is just around the corner. Don’t forget to determine when you can pick up your registrations prior to the race. (You should already be signed up for this race) http://www.runshamrocks.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=12&Itemid=31

I know we will be driving separately, but as the event gets closer let’s look for a good meet-up place. Make sure that you eat right before the race as well. Our pre- race chicken and veggie pasta would be a good choice to consider. http://mindbodybalanc.wpengine.com/newsletter_articles.php (scroll to the bottom to find many recipes that appear in The Balancing Act).

Also, make sure that you have signed up for your 10K or you will have to pay extra very soon. http://www.martianmarathon.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=22&Itemid=61

Now that some housekeeping is out of the way, let’s look ahead to the next four weeks of training. It is time to start evaluating your long runs. Some of you may be natural pace setters and some, like me, might struggle with this area of your training.

So here are some things to consider:

  • After your long runs…

o do you just want to lie on the couch for a few hours,

o legs are tired or sore for a couple of days following the run,

o winded during the last few miles,

o feel nauseated, irritated at the end of the run.

If you answered yes to any of these questions you are probably running at too fast of a pace for your training right now and should consider slowing down.

  • Before your long run you also need to…

o make sure that you are getting enough sleep the day before,

o eating appropriately,

o are you drinking enough fluids before?

  • During and after…

o are you mentally preparing for the long run,

o dressing for weather conditions and

o are you running with a partner?

As our long runs increase, factors that can make them more painful are:

o dehydration,

o insufficient fueling of your body,

o walk breaks that were too short or too fast,

o general fatigue because of our hectic American lifestyle,

o maybe your short runs were to close together,

o the pace you were running was too aggressive.

According to the Running USA Website in 2004, the average marathon time for men was 4:24:35 (approx. pace 10:15) and women 4:55:21 (approx. pace 11:15).

Listen to your body! You will hear me say this over and over again. Rest and recovery are very important.
You must allow enough recovery. If you do not, you will not become more fit, you will just become more tired. Your body needs time to rest and recover in order to get stronger and improve.
Don’t be a slave to your program. Be flexible and respond to what your body is telling you. If you went out, were too aggressive with your pace and your legs are feeling sore, allow yourself to put an extra day of rest in-between your runs; or just go out for your run and (instead of running) walk the time or distance instead.
Yes, we need to plan our workouts and not cut corners but we also need to be flexible so that we can listen to what our body is telling us. In case you haven’t noticed a pattern yet in your workouts, let me point out that you always have a recovery week each month. So, if you feel stiff, tired, and sore then allow an extra day of recovery before your next run. If you miss a session or two (I know I have because of weather) then don’t try to “play catch-up” and do extra the following week. This is a recipe for injury.
Don’t go rogue and start running every day because you love the added endorphins and how your body is feeling. Remember your schedule has rest days, recover weeks and progresses for a reason. Stick to it. Spread out your runs to avoid over-training. Have patience, listen and learn. You will not improve your running technique overnight, but you will progress gradually and those baby steps will add up to something great.

Our first race is coming up and you will have some pre-race-day jitters.
The positive energy will get to you.
The competition (even if you aren’t there for the competition but for the fun of it) will get to you.
You’ll get start-line jitters. Running in a crowd can make you want to run faster than your pace, especially when 100’s are passing you,
Learning how to take water from an aid station can be a little unsettling. Rest assured that these events are practice for the marathon event that you choose. After a couple of events, you will feel comfortable, confident and your anxiety will reduce.

Remember, pacing yourself is important. Give yourself the talk test you should be able to speak in sentences without feeling winded. Finding the right pace is difficult, but you should be able to maintain a pace throughout your training run.

“To climb step hills requires a slow pace at first” –Shakespeare, King Henry the Eighth

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
Active Rest & Nap Short Run & Yoga Yoga Short Run Pilates Pilates Long Run
Active Rest & Nap Short Run & Yoga Yoga Short Run Pilates Pilates Long Run
Active Rest & Nap Short Run & Yoga Yoga Short Run Pilates Pilates Long Run & Sherri’s Health Class
Active Rest & Nap Short Run & Yoga Yoga Short Run Pilates Pilates Long Run

The two rules of perseverance: Rule #1 Take one more step. Rule #2 when you don’t think you can take one more strep, refer to Rule #1.” -H. Jackson Brown Jr., American Author

Week One: Short Runs are 40/50, Long Run is 6 miles Your interval times for all runs will be five minute warm ups and cool downs and then six minute jog with a one minute walk.

Week Two: Short Runs are 50/60 No Long Run because we will be at the event running a 5k Your interval times for all runs will be five minute warm ups and cool downs and then six minute jog with a one minute walk.

Week Three: Short Runs are 40/50 Long Run is 7 miles Your interval times for all runs will be five minute warm ups and cool downs and then six minute jog with a one minute walk.

Week Four: Short Runs are 40/50 Long Run is 8 miles Your interval times for all runs will be five minute warm ups and cool downs and then six minute jog with a one minute walk.

In Chi Running or Walking by Danny Dreyer read chapters 7-9.

Here is your third event to sign up for: http://www.trailmarathon.com/index.php?option=com_frontpage&Itemid=1

You will want to sign up for this race by March 15, 2011; otherwise you will have to pay extra and may not make it into the race. They do have a runners limit for both the full and half of 1,000 runners. You will be signing up for the half. This course is going to be challenging, you will get dirty and you will need to bring your running etiquette with you (I’ll spend more time on this in our next blog). By May 1st you will have been in 3 races (5k, 10k and half). You’ve come a long way baby!

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How to get from your starting point to where you want to be!

Yes, Andy Stanley is still inspiring me so bear with me. After listening to Andy Stanley present at The Global Leadership Summit in 2010, I had to read his book The Principle of the Path. It offered some insight into my personal life and made me wonder about my health, and my client’s health as well. Why is it that smart people with admirable life goals often end up so far from where they want to be regarding their health and well being? Why is it that so many people start out with a clear picture and or living a healthy lifestyle and yet, years later, find themselves far from their desired destination of “healthy body?” Why do our expectations about our own health and fitness level often go unmet?

I’ve sat with many clients who have cried, wishing they could go back and have a do-over, living differently, but we can’t.  As the line in the country song goes, “When your hourglass runs out of sand, you can’t turn it over and start again.” Experience is our most valuable commodity. This learning from experience eats up a lot of years, it steals entire stages of life, it leaves us with scars, pain, and regret. This regret creates powerful emotions which can drive us right back to the behavior that created the regret to begin with. Whenever a client talks to me about weight, there are always big emotions, fear and pain.

I’m not giving you a 12 step program to follow or a guarantee that will fix your pain but I do hope to bring your attention to the fact that some big emotion is floating in the background of your life and the lives of those you love. If you can find the courage to look for this emotion, and bring awareness to it, without judgment, than you have done the most difficult part of the journey to regaining your health, your life, your happiness. Once you’ve located this emotion you can then leverage it for your benefit.

Clients come to me and they want me to hold all of their responsibility to becoming healthy. Ultimately, I can guide them, but I can’t do the work for them. I can lay out a yellow brick road or a prudential path to better health, but there are sure to be road blocks and detours that they’ll be faced with. 

My clients always hold the best answers.  They already know the solution; they just need help with direction. This will take time, a change of direction and patience. Remember, there is no quick fix when one day you wake up and find that you are hundreds of miles away from were you want to be. I often have no idea how I will help the new client that comes to me for help. Their latest health scare just reveals where they are and where they aren’t.  It also reveals the path that they were on.

I don’t “fix” or hand out a 12 step “to-do” list, but I do know that if we choose a path of unhealthy lifestyle habits eventually we arrive at an undesirable destination. A health scare just speeds the trip up. Every path has a specific destination.

Proverb (27:12) “Lord, help us to see trouble coming long before it gets here. And give us the wisdom to know what to do and the courage to do it.”

It takes a lot of courage to face your health and fitness issues. It takes a lot of courage to admit your starting point; but we all have one. Mine came when I realized that I had gone from a size 2 to a size 12 and was wondering why my back issue (crushed T12) was getting worse at the age of 32. Why was I having hormone issues and facing type 2 diabetes just around the corner?  I knew better.  I knew how to live a healthy lifestyle.  I wasn’t raised to live unhealthily. I just chose a path that didn’t include self nurture. I had to pay attention to my health, when I see old habits coming back I have to change direction because it is the direction of our life that will determine our destination.

I’m definitely not perfect.  I often learn from mistakes only. But, I do have some questions that I want you to consider. Why do you make choices that give you short –term happiness over long-term happiness? Why overindulge for a short term high instead of years of good health? Why do I have to have my way now rather than wait and really have my way later? Why do I have to sit in front of the TV now every night instead of playing with my children, grandchildren and being fit enough to enjoy traveling the world later in life? Why do I knowingly choose paths that take me where I’ve already decided I don’t want to go? Are you allowing your brain to sell you on things that you want to do rather than what you ought to do?

How many times have you eaten the whole bag of potatoes chips and said, “I don’t understand why I did that? What was I thinking?”  I’ve done this before and I don’t understand some of my decisions.  We can’t understand our heart. We are corrupt.  Our brains have the ability to lie to us, create actions based upon those lies and then defend our lies and actions with ridiculous excuses. Getting the Courage to tell ourselves the truth is downright terrifying, but the truth is liberating and weight is lifted from our shoulders. The reason I lie about my health is……….. The real reason I won’t exercise is…………. The real reason I eat so much is…………the real reason I can’t afford wellness services is……………The real reason I quit doing what I love is…………….. Andy sums this up very elegantly “When you are willing to come clean with yourself about the uncomfotable truth behind your choices, you’re on the verge of freedom. We can never be free as long as we’re in the habit of lying to ourselves about the reasons behind the choices we make and the paths we take. Telling yourself the truth will free you to move from where you are to where you want and need to be”

When we make a choice, we choose a path and every path has a destination, the direction we chose, not our intention, determines our destination. Information, insight is not enough.

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the lord with all your heart leans not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him; and he will make your paths straight.

Find a Fitness Coach that will help you cut through your emotional fog that clouds your decision-making environments regarding your health. Every big decision has an emotional component behind it.  Every big decision takes you down a path that will impact your future. Life is too short to allow the emotions of the moment to direct your health toward a direction you will later regret.

Success is sometimes admitting that you have no idea what action to take concerning a particular issue or situation. Successful people know that they are in uncharted territory and they should seek other’s advice; people who have experience in that area. It takes a lot of confidence to say “Even though I’m in charge of my life, successful in so many areas of my life, I have no idea what to do on the issue of my health and fitness level” I often hear, “I’m the head of my company, department etc. but I’m just not sure what plan of action I should follow for movement.  Can you help me?  I partner with them and we develop a plan of action that meets them where they are at that moment. Often they report back that they’ve been humbled, that they are a better manager to their employees because of it and that they are ready, begging to start the next step in the action plan.

Our decisions to live an unhealthy lifestyle (the one’s that we make privately and independently) are judged by others, and affect other people as well. Even when we pay attention and choose another path or direction to improve our lifestyle to one of health we are judged by others, and affect other people as well. Yes, you are an adult and you can make your own decisions, but it affects your family, your co workers, and your friends. When your health goes south, you aren’t the only one affected.  Your parents, friends, spouse / life-mate, children, coworkers…, all who have come in contact with you, suffer. Every decision that you make that hurts you, also hurts those that love you and depend on you the most. So many times, clients are afraid to have a family discussion about what they need in order to make a lifestyle change (i.e., help with cooking, cleaning, watching the children etc. so that they can exercise) and they want to go it alone or use it as an excuse not to make a change. When we make a bad choice or choose a bad path and we realize we’ve made a mistake, who do we go to for advice about how to make a course correction? Who do we go to for advice about how to dig out of the hole we’ve dug ourselves into? If the decision we make will be seen, judged, and felt by these individuals why not involve them from the beginning? Nothing remains a secret.

We go to run across the yard to play with the dog or our grand children and can’t make it because we are out of breath.  We end up in the hospital on father’s day with a heart attack.  How in the world did you end up here? How do we get ourselves to concentrate on the things that matter? Self-deception doesn’t accomplish much, but it is a path. What has your attention now? Who has your attention now? There is no one but you at this very moment while you are reading.  Don’t lie to yourself. You know from your own past experience.  Be honest.  Why is it that you just don’t find the time to exercise; to get around to your health; because of the other less important stuff?

THINK!  HONESTLY, A LOT IS AT STAKE!

Take a moment out of your hectic life and ask, “What I am devoting my attention to right now? Is this a special item that deserves my attention?”  Don’t imprison yourself in your unhealthy body. I know that this is not where you intended to be.  Disappointment creates powerful emotions.  I know poor health is the last place that you wanted to be and that a life of disappointments creates powerful emotions that take over our life.  No one in our society is immune to these emotions. Regardless of what your goals, dreams, wishes or wants were or are, set a course for improved health today.  Change your direction today.  That will set your destination. Remember, “Knowing/ Awareness” doesn’t make the difference but “Doing” does. Start exercising today.

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Marathon blog #4

So many of you are off to a great start! What I love most about the stories that you are sharing with me is that you are making this training your own. You are all listening to your bodies, having some light bulb moments and acknowledging the emotions that come up along the way.

For example, some of you are learning the art of a warm up… That if you just race off from your start point, mindless, you get cramping in your calves, wheezing, etc. (if this happens then slow down). Remember, you should start-off slow and build speed over a five minute period of time and during this time you shouldn’t feel any tension, cramping, your breath should be full.

I’ve heard about the “a-ha” moments, stretching at the end of your workout. For those of you that workout with me on Saturday, you find that even though it is your long run, you aren’t that sore & tight the next day or two. This is because we do a good stretching program at the end. If you skip your stretching program at the end then your body starts to speak loudly until you listen and give it some much needed “love.” You can’t skip this. It must be part of your routine.

I’ve heard stories of: the run was great but afterword’s I was angry, I was happy, I am amazed I did it, I’m proud, I’m fearful to start to exercise, I’m embarrassed to exercise with others, etc. You are certainly going to learn a lot about yourself during your training times. Look, you have nothing but time while you are out in nature. This is fun. This isn’t about punishment, judgment, competition or having an expectation. This is about learning about yourself, your body, being healthy, enjoying the outdoors, having fun with others during movement, exploring yourself and personal awareness. Please don’t put yourself into a box that you create for you.

Be patient and allow yourself some grace. As you become more efficient, work on your technique you will have a sense of joy and as this joy increases so will your efficiency in your running. I know I rocked my 5 mile run on a very cold day. I felt great. I enjoyed it but then came my short runs the next week. I felt okay, but I wasn’t looking forward to them. Remember, our mind is like concrete; sometimes it’s visualized as a road block. Our body is fluid. I’m always trying to create a fluid mind to match my body. Running is inexpensive, running goes with you anywhere, and running clears the mind chatter and helps you keep it in sane perspective.

This training needs to be fun. You need to be having the time of your life whether you picked walking, running or a combination of both (that’s me). Your heart will beat stronger, your bone density will improve, and you’ll burn calories and increase your cardiovascular efficiency. A lot of people get injured while running and never make it to the start line. Why? In my personal opinion it is because they over-train (going beyond what the body is capable of), attack their training with the same stress they live daily, have poor alignment and use poor running technique.

This is why we offered you some additional services such as Sherri Eby to help with holistic health and emotions. Chi Running by Danny Dreyer will help with your running program. We like Danny’s philosophy because it fits with our philosophy of movement at Mind Body Balance. Please make sure that if things are coming up during your running that you strongly consider using one of these additional services for a period of time. I know that my breathing is limiting me (still working on expanding my respiratory muscles from my old injury) I’m rereading my Chi Running book to remind me of good form so that I run with mindfulness. I’ve shared with many of you some of the things that I say in my mind “Breathing in I Smile, Breathing out I smile”, “Inhale God’s Word, Exhale his Love”.

I’ve shared some running techniques based on what I see in your running form when you pass me on the trail. By the way, I’m glad that you pass me because when we get together you shouldn’t feel obligated to go at another’s pace. We are all there to support each other. Chat before and after, maybe during, but the bottom line is to first listen to your body and feel what it is telling you.

Please don’t make your training program about peer pressure, wanting to be the fastest, trying to prove your value, wanting to keep up with the Jones’, etc. This is about you and you define your own success, no other. Danny Dreyer talks about Master Xu in his book and I love the saying “Let your mind do the work….let your body relax.” Your running should be with ease. You should run down that trail as if you are the air that blows through the tree leaves, you should leave no foot prints behind, and your energy should be united between body, mind and spirit. The process of this training is your goal. The events are just fun social gatherings for us to have community with one another.

Learn what your body can and can’t do and teach your body new skills and habits. Danny Dreyer’s techniques make sense on so many levels I really hope that you get his book as I recommended in the very first blog and absorb every page. I know mine is well used.
“Principles are deep Fundamental Truths that have universal application. Principles are guidelines for human conduct that are proven to have enduring, permanent value” –Steven Covey

Your reading for this week is to cover the next three chapters in Chi Running by Danny Dreyer (chapters 4, 5, 6 by months end) these chapters are on form and technique. Danny’s principals are very similar to those that Joseph Pilates left us (Centering, Control, Concentration, Flowing, Precision, and Breathing) remember Joseph called it Contrology (the complete coordination of Body, Mind and spirit). So with this said, you should be spending your time on form these next four weeks and listening to your body. For example, if I start to get tense while running or something starts to “talk” I start to walk until I can correct my form, quite my muscles and relax.

I send it good thoughts. I don’t get mad or discouraged. Instead I ask it what it needs, why do I need to carry this tension, can I let the tension go, my left side isn’t tracking right because I have numbing or I’m a little sore the next day. How can I work on my technique to help it, etc. While the table below offers suggestions, please use your best judgment and listen to what your body is telling you. Maybe you need to walk the long runs and not shuffle at all. Maybe you need to stay with a different interval then what is recommended but can still go the time and distance. All of this is fine, giving you permission to listen to your body. Just stay healthy, injury free and consistent with your program; helping you find the balance that works for you. If you get discouraged go back and re-read the blogs because they offer great suggestions and serve as good reminders.

Week # Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
1 Short Run Yoga Short Run/ Yoga Pilates Pilates Long Run Breathing Active Rest/ Nap
2 Short Run Yoga Short Run/ Yoga Pilates Pilates Long RunBreathing Active Rest/ Nap
3 Short Run Yoga Short Run/Yoga Pilates Pilates Long RunBreathingSherri’s Class Active Rest/ Nap
4 Short Run Yoga Short Run/ Sherri’s Class Pilates Pilates Long Run Breathing Active Rest/ Nap

Week One (intention is Body Sensing) a short run is 30/40 it is a 5 minute warm up and 5 minute cool down with a 2 minute shuffle/ jog or fast walk and a 3 minute walk. The long run is 4 miles same warm up, cool down and interval.

Week Two (intention is Breathing) a short run is 35/45 it is a 5 minute warm up and 5 minute cool down with a 3 minute shuffle/jog or a fast walk and a 2 minute walk. The long run is 5 miles same warm up, cool down and interval.

Week Three (intention is lean/ posture) a short run is 35/45 it is a 5mintue warm up and 5 minute cool down with a 4 minute shuffle/jog or fast walk and 1 minute walk. The long run is 6 miles same warm up, cool down and interval.

Week Four (intention is effort with ease) a short run is 30/40 it is a 5 minute warm up and a 5 minute cool down with a 2 minute shuffle/jog or fast walk and 3 minute walk. The long run is 4 miles same warm up, cool down and interval.

If the above mentioned intentions don’t make sense, then please consult your Chi Running book. Focusing on your reading and working on your form will go a long way and help yourself create a strong base in which to grow on.

Now is the time to sign up for your second event: The 10k. And guess what? You’ve already gone the distance. “Yes, You Rock!” http://www.martianmarathon.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=22&Itemid=61

Make sure to register before March 2nd or you will have to pay extra!

So everyone is asking me who is going to the March 13th event: the 5k. If you are going walking or running, please comment below so that everyone can see and help inspire those that are sitting on the edges looking in wishing they had the courage to sign up too. I confidently know that all of my clients can walk a 5k. so please join us it is for a good cause.

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What is the wise thing to do?

Recently Andy Stanley has inspired me to do some self evaluation. I was recently preparing for a leadership conference this year.  When you enrolled early you were gifted a book entitled The Best Question Ever by Andy Stanley. Two weeks before the conference my excitement was building and I thought I probably should give it a quick read before I attend….you know, so I’m prepared and all…..

Of course, like many items that grab us, we always say “If only I had this earlier in life.” But, the truth is, I probably wasn’t ready for it until now.  He said in his book “You can overspend, overeat, and overachieve, but you can’t over-live.”  Lets look at this for a moment.  We all know that our time is limited on earth, right? You would think this would inspire us to look at our life differently, but instead, we all spend our lives asking for more time instead of evaluating how we invest our time we already have.

I think a better idea to ponder would be how to use our current time.  For example, what do you do with all of your extra time? You might be thinking, “Well, I have no extra time.” But, for you parents, I bet you thought you had no extra time when you were single.  You found time for your first, second, and third child. Where did all that “time before children” go?  Away?  Where did your life go? 

I get clients all the time that say, “I know I should take care of myself but I just don’t have the time!” WHAT?  Think about your past experiences (family history your own health history, etc), your current responsibilities (parent, care giver, productive citizen, etc.), your future hopes and dreams (grandkids, children in college, trips in the golden years, etc.).  What is the wisest way to invest in your health?  Now, you are all smart enough to know how to manage your time, see were your time-wasters are and to understand that time is life.  But, often times, we don’t prioritize our health until it is too late.

I see clients that routinely, for years, ignored this very aspect of life.  Then finally something happens in their life and their health gets pushed up the ladder to the top rung. They, of course, are often looking for a quick fix (a magic pill) and get angry that I can not accomplish their goal (reduce pain, lower cholesterol, lose weight, etc.) in just a handful of sessions. It is almost as if they are laying there, thinking, “This won’t work, this isn’t helping me.”etc.

At this point, I tell them, “The body is fluid and has the ability to repair, heal and change over time.  The mind is concrete.”  In other words, if you are saying unkind, negative things while we work together, we should just stop working together.  You are working against your body and you “know” that it won’t change.

You aren’t ready to change your lifestyle until you are ready.  You are only ready when it has nothing to do with the externals floating about in your life.  In one, or even five sessions you aren’t going to see this big difference other than you may be sore and realize that taking back your life is going to be hard work.  Sorry to be the barer of bad news but…  It’s the truth. 

If you allow your exercise sessions and the small lifestyle changes to accumulate… now you are talking about real movement that has a measurable benefit in your life. I know we are a society that wants immediate gratification.  Because exercise doesn’t supply this it is easy for our mind to “fight to be right” and say things like, “It will not hurt if I miss one day.”  Healthy lifestyle factors have a compounding effect.  Consistent, small investments of time have a value.  In the end, that time makes a difference.

If you are like me, you live and learn.  I’ve found myself, many times, wishing I could go back in time and actually listen to my father’s advice.  But I can’t go back.  In fact, we can’t go back for many things such as living, loving, re-prioritizing….the critical aspects of life.  We cannot go back and make up for our mistakes or lost time. You know you’ve done it with your health.  In fact, at the beginning of every year I see it.  Many clients wanting me to brow beat them with outrageous workouts, trying to make up for “that lost time of exercising” in their life.  It’s as if logging 2-3 hours a day makes you feel “in control.”  You’ll feel you’ve regained your footing, then you’ll wake up the next day and have a hard time getting out of bed or you injure yourself.  And so, the brain says, “See, I told you we shouldn’t be doing this.”

Your health matters.  It is one of the top five things that matter in your life and you can’t make up for lost time.  Two of the biggest crises’ that Americans face today are obesity and metabolic diseases; both of which stem from making decisions.  We eat too much.  We spend too much on trends and magic pills.  It isn’t because we make too little income or have too little time.  So we look for others to blame for our behaviors like fast food, finances, employers, etc.

You know something about cars, right?  But most of us don’t work on them by ourselves. You don’t expect your mechanic to make wise suggestions and decisions about your car without first knowing how the car works, right? You don’t try to make wise decisions about your family’s finances without first seeking out a financial planner and knowing the laws and principles that work in these areas of your life.  So, why then, would you not seek help in mastering your health? How would you expect to make wise decisions?

Make a health care team for you today that includes:

  • You,
  • An integrative fitness professional,
  • A doctor that respects movement and nutrition,
  • A physical therapist if needed,
  • A nutritionist and
  • A “body-work” professional.

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