10 Minutes (or more) Prenatal Yoga

So, I wrote this blog the day before I went unexpectedly into labor. Clearly, I was not able to post it the next day as I had planned. However, I figure I might as well post it now. I just went through the photos and it is laughable how big and pregnant I am..errr was…  Anyways, I think I look like a pregnant cow in these pictures, but I’m sharing them anyways. After all I was 9 months pregnant so I should look big and pregnant. Also, I started doing yoga again about a week ago (yay, for being able to do light workouts!) and I think doing it both before and after delivery have been so helpful, mentally and physically. Enjoy.

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Alright, I am so close to the end of this pregnancy I can hardly stand it! It sucks not knowing when and basically being told that you could have the baby anywhere between 37 and 41 weeks…that is a HUGE time frame. I am still sticking to my goal and working out 5-6 days a week, but I have got to say that I’m ready to be done with my pregnancy workouts! It is tough stuff at this point.

I’m somehow still pushing through the Asylum Volume 2 with Husband (with LOTS of modifications…I basically run in place, do lots of push-up, squats and planks and just try to keep moving for the full hour). Anyways, but what I much prefer doing, and still squeeze in on our “off days” is prenatal yoga. Now, that I only have a few weeks left (supposedly) I am trying to incorporate more and more yoga to my workouts before the little one arrives.

Need to know why yoga is an awesome exercise for pregnant women (and all people)? There are LOTS of reasons, here’s a few:

Yoga helps you and teaches you to relax, helps you stay fit, teaches you to breathe properly (helpful during labor), improves sleep, decreases anxiety, increases strength, reduces lower back pain, can prevent nausea, lessens the risk of preterm labor, keeps you flexible, improves balance and aids circulation.

Convinced? Then, try some of my favorite yoga poses! Here’s my 10 Minutes (or more) of Prenatal Yoga. 

Hold each pose for a minute!

(Oh, and I took these photos in the nursery before we were even close to being finished, AND I thought it would be cool to look all natural with no makeup and messy hair, but turns out to not look so cool..oh well!)

1. Chair

chair pose

2. Tree

tree pose

3. Traingle

triangle

4. Half-Moon

half moon

5. Warrior 1

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6. Warrior 2

warrior2

7. Warrior 3

warrior 3

8. Pigeon

pigeon

*You should put your head down over your leg to complete this pose.

9. Cat and Cow

I looked absolutely horrendous in the photos of “cat and cow” so those will not be included. You can click here to see what it should look like.

10. Butterfly

butterfly

Don’t forget to be safe when working out while pregnant!

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If you liked this “10 Minute Workout”, then be sure to check out 10 Minute Prenatal Ab and Core, 10 Minute Prenatal Arms and 10 Minute Prenatal Booty!

Namaste yall!

*Update: Since having Luna, I’ve created more “10 Minute workouts with a toddler“. Thanks so much for stopping by! Hope you and your new little one can continue exercising and having fun together!

Oh, and Cheers!

Hot Yoga

Not from my class...just found this one online.
Not from my class…just found this one online.

I have always been curious about hot yoga, but apprehensive to actually try it. I can sit in sauna’s in hot tubs for about ten minutes, but longer than that and I become very uncomfortable. Feeling too hot makes me feel sick and anxious. When I’m really anxious the one thing that can quickly calm me down is cold air. I love yoga, but Hot Yoga sounds scary.

However, Zoey found a deal for a week of unlimited Hot Yoga for $27 at Bikram Yoga. I never pass up a good deal, so we both signed up and attempted Hot Yoga together. It’s always best to try new things with a friend. Zoey has actually done hot yoga once, and I thought If she can do it, I can do it, right?

We entered the steaming hot room (105 degrees Fahrenheit to be exact), laid out our yoga mats and towels, because you must have a towel on your yoga mat. Why, you may be asking…you’ll find out soon enough. I was fully prepared with two bottles of water, an extra small towel and minimal clothing (sports bra and booty shorts are common Hot Yoga attire). We were about ten minutes early and before we walked in there was a lady in a handstand and another in a backbend…neither of which moved until class started. At this point we knew this might be a little too serious for us.

Class began and started off fairly simple. I am fairly flexible and able to do most yoga poses so I started off feeling good. About ten minutes in I was feeling extra flexible, all that heat and sweat really increases flexibility! About 15 minutes in I started feeling woozy…then dizzy…then very anxious. My immediate reaction was to run for the door, but exiting class is frowned upon in hot yoga, and I have a bad habit of being a good student and couldn’t bear the idea of disappointing the teacher.

You may remember from previous posts about being a brat in group workout classes that I am extremely competitive in these classes. I look at my peers as competitors and secretly compete with them during class…I want to be the fastest, strongest and sweatiest. Now, keep this in your mind when I tell you I had to sit down in hot yoga. I had to sit, breathe and close my eyes for almost half of this very long 90 minute class! Hot yoga is hard. It is harder than Insanity! A lot harder.

To keep from vomiting or losing my mind I tried talking to Zoey. I needed to keep my mind off of passing out. We whispered back and forth a bit… Zoey had to sit too and we reminded each other that “it’s mind over matter” and giggled a bit at the amount of sweat pouring out of us. I was starting to feel a little better when the teacher snapped at us. “No talking in yoga ladies. No talking at all. Do not disturb everyone in class that’s trying to stay focused.”

Geez Louise, we can’t even whisper?!

My next idea was to focus on the people around me. I was pleased to see I was not the only one who had to sit. I was shocked to see just how much everyone sweats. My own towel was completely drenched and I was barely moving. The man in front of us was sweating so much that he could have been peeing and no one would have known the difference. For all I know everyone standing could have been crying, but with all that perspiration, no one would be able to tell.

The teacher reassured me by saying that the first time is hard and that if I’m feeling dizzy and nauseous then I’m doing it right. Towards the end we got to lay down between every pose. I thought this would be nice, but I could feel my heart pounding into the floor every time we lay back. I had to switch to my side or just skip savasana all together.

The relief I felt when the class was finally over was indescribable. I have never sweat so much or been so hot in my entire life. I felt like a big cooked noodle, very relaxed, a little woozy and extremely proud for lasting the entire 90 minutes. I promised Zoey we would go to class every day for the next week and felt excited to find out what it will feel like by the end of the week.

Then, I got the flu. I have yet to go back and my week-long deal is over tomorrow. Oh well, I gave it a shot. Maybe I’ll even get another week-long deal next time one comes around.

Anyone ever try hot yoga?

Cheers!

Yoga Mat Winner!

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I love giveaways! It’s so fun to see who wins and then send a gift to someone. I just wish I could meet everyone and deliver the gift in person. Today I randomly selected a winner of the Kulae Elite Hot Hybrid yoga mat from my recent giveaway! AND the winner is…

Travels With Mary!!! Check out her blog. She’s a cool smart chick getting her PhD in Literature for Children and Young Adults (I want to do that!) and writes all about her life.

Congrats Mary! Send your mailing info. to positivelypanicked@gmail.com and I’ll get your yoga mat to you ASAP. If you lived closer we could meet and go take a yoga class together!

Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

Cheers!

I Think I’m a Yogi (Giveaway!)

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I am not a yoga expert, but I wear a LOT of yoga pants, like everyday. My job requires it, and I am not complaining. I am not a certified yoga teacher, but I teach eight yoga classes a week, again…not complaining. I am not calm or Zen about anything, but I practice being both every day often enough.

Yoga has become a huge part of my life over the last couple of years, but I did not own a yoga mat until a few weeks ago. There are so many yoga mats on the market that I did not even know where to begin. Lucky for me I got three very nice yoga mats to review!

My intention was to try each mat and rank them from “My favorite” to my “Not so favorite.” Turns out I am terrible at ranking and incredibly indecisive. Instead, I’ll tell you what I love and what I don’t love about each mat.

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namemats

Mat #1: The Jade Yoga Mat

I love that this mat because it is eco-friendly, absolutely impossible to slip on no matter how sweaty you are, very durable and comfy and squishy. The company is all environment friendly and plants a tree for every mat sold. I do not love that it smells like a tire and is the heaviest yoga mat I have ever held.

headstand

Belle always has to be a part of the action...
Belle always has to be a part of the action…

Mat #2: The Kulae Mat

I love this mat because it is pretty, the most comfortable yoga mat, eco-friendly, and an “Elite Hybrid”. It’s so soft on my bare feet and not slippery. It’s a cross between a towel and a yoga mat so it’s great for soaking up all the access sweat from your intense hot yoga class. I even get compliments on this mat because everyone thinks it’s so pretty.  You know a yoga mat must look impressive to receive actual compliments.  I do not love that the skinny lines from top to bottom make me dizzy or that it’s a little trickier to clean than a rubber mat.

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Such a ham...
Such a ham…

backbend

Mat #3: The Barefoot yoga Mat

I love this mat because it is pink, it’s also eco-friendly, and it is very light and the easiest to carry and use for traveling. It’s also a hybrid mat and is affordable, which is a huge plus! I do not love that there is nothing visually that separates this mat from any other yoga mat on the market.

barefoot

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Belle being very Zen
Belle being very Zen

Overall, every yoga mat was great and did it’s job with flying colors. Now, I have some VERY exciting news!  Kulae sent me an extra mat to give to one of you! I have a lovely pink Elite Hot Hybrid yoga mat for one lucky follower. Just “follow” me, and leave a comment telling me why you love, hate or have never done yoga. Hopefully the lucky winner can use their new fancy-pants yoga mat to get in shape, nap on or just carry around to match the yoga pants they wear to the grocery store.

*Winner will be announced in two weeks! (Saturday, March 2nd)

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Best of luck!

Cheers!

Feel Good, Do Good and Be Good

Tomorrow is the day I begin to face my fear, again. I had plans, big plans, to relax and breathe and be all kinds of zen this weekend to fully prepare my mind and body for my doctor apartment, but life happened and I ended up working 20 hours this weekend. Bleh. I really wanted to wallow and pity myself for being stuck at work all weekend, but I am determined, DETERMINED, to look on the bright side, which was not easy to find. After scrolling through my phone pics I found some definite bright moments this weekend.

Friday marked the 100th Birthday of NY’s Grand Central Station. To celebrate the station was decked out with new exhibits, free concerts, free snacks, free coffee, free train whistles, and lots of other special events and famous speakers. All the eateries even priced their food as if it were 1913. We had a limited amount of time to spend, but we did all we could and I’m glad I got to attend such a big celebration.

Happy 100th Birthday Grand Central!
Happy 100th Birthday Grand Central!
Husband just HAD to get a free train whistle...I'll just throw that out when he's not looking.
Husband HAD to get a free train whistle…I’ll just throw that out when he’s not looking.
 A special exhibit that will be open through March
A special exhibit that will be open through March

After working late Friday, I came home to this excited pooch! No one makes me feel more loved and special than my precious Belle. She misses me every moment I’m at work.

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Then, Saturday morning I woke to this…

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Poor Husband was sick all night, and baby Belle stayed by his side all night and day to keep him company.

That night I made sure to squeeze in a yoga workout with my new yoga mat.

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Of course, today was the Super Bowl. I got off work with just enough time to pick up some groceries to prepare for the big game. I don’t know what happened to us tonight, but we somehow filled our stereotypical gender roles. Husband watched the game so intently that he refused to acknowledge any questions, comments or insults during the game, even the pre-game! (So not like him.) And I…I cooked. Like, REALLY cooked. I made vegan spinach and artichoke dip (I’m lactose-intolerant), half-vegan and half non-vegan vegetarian lasagna (I’m also vegetarian), and apple crisp. Nothing came out looking good enough to serve to guests, but it was all edible and pretty tasty. Most impressive, I did not burn myself even once.

Belle got sick of the game rather quickly. She's never been into sports.
Belle got sick of the game rather quickly. She’s never been into sports.
My half and half lasagna...it's not pretty, but it was delicious!
My half and half lasagna…it’s not pretty, but it was delicious!

Now, it’s 1am, I’m drinking ginger-lemon tea and pumping myself with positive thoughts to prep for the doctor visit tomorrow. No big deal. I can do hard things. Breathe.

What a perfect note on my teabag.
What a perfect note on my teabag.

Happy Superbowl Sunday Day!

Cheers!

I’m Still a Brat

Zoey asked me to join her in a group exercise class yesterday, one that I do not love attending. However, I am being positive now, and decided I should go to support Zoey and maybe get some aerobic benefits in the process. Nothing is particularly wrong with this class. It’s actually a great workout, and the teacher is really fun. The only problem is me.

I am a brat.

This class just is not for me; I am too picky, and I need more of a challenge.  I was trying to be positive though, so when we got there I enthusiastically found my spot near the front with plenty of space and a perfect view in the mirror. Zoey found her spot in the back behind a pole. We participate in class very differently.

Before we begin I turn my head to say something to Zoey, and as I turn back to the front there is a girl standing literally one inch in front of me AGAIN. How does one think this is appropriate behavior? Have these ladies never taken a group exercise class before?! We clearly need space to shake our hips and pump our arms up and down.

–deep breaths—stay positive—

I decide to step backwards and let the space thief take my spot. “It’s all yours”, I say, silently, in my head.

Class begins and I shuffle to the left to get a view of myself in the mirror. The thief also shuffles. I smile, no problem, shuffle to right and once again can watch myself perform. The thief then feels the need to also shuffle to the right.

This goes on and on, and I decide it is not so important; I do not have to see myself. I am getting a great workout whether I can see myself or not.  Happy thoughts. Then, I smell it.

The thief is a farter.

She passed gas every 3 minutes for the rest of class. I swear to you, I could taste it. Don’t get me wrong; I understand that farts tend to sneak out during a workout class (especially yoga) but at some point you need to hold it in. I really really tried to find a positive spin to the smelly thief, but I was at a loss at this point. I decided it was best to tough it out and hold my breath.

Towards the end of class the teacher added high kicks to the routine. High kicks are something I pride myself on, and you know I love to show off and get teacher approval during class. I happily and haughtily danced and kicked along to the music, smiling the whole time. All of a sudden the teacher sashays in my direction, a big smile on her face, I can hardly wait for my obvious forthcoming compliment. Unexpectedly, she stops right in front of the stinky farting thief. “Amazing high kicks!” she exclaims, and then continues to high-five the very girl who stole my spot! I only wish someone was there to capture the look of disappointment and shock on my face.

When class was over I was drenched in sweat, my legs felt like jelly and I felt proud for finishing the class. Today, I am super sore. I love to feel sore after I workout, it’s real proof that I worked hard and I am getting stronger. It turns out that I am pretty happy I went to the class, and definitely feel better for it. I’m so glad I stuck it out. Now, I am more motivated to keep working out throughout the week.

Moral of the story: When life farts in your face, hold your breath and keep moving.

Cheers!

What to Do When You are Stuck Inside during a National Disaster

Hurricane Sandy has given a me a few much needed days off work to relax and check a few things off my to-do list. Normally, I’d get out and do something fun and adventurous during a 5-day weekend, but this national disaster has put us all under house arrest. After writing some blogs and lesson plans, cleaning the entire apartment, painting my nails, and working out I had to get a little creative.

Here’s “Hilarie’s list of what to do to keep from getting bored and wishing you could go to work”.

1. Cook something. I made two giant pots of butternut squash and vegetable soup, which was really delicious. (Husband says it’s not okay to compliment my own food, but how else will you know that I managed to successfully make a yummy dinner!?!?)

2. Annoy your dog. I took pictures of Belle and teased her for looking nervous when it hadn’t even started storming yet.

3. Because soup isn’t enough…make cookies!

Halloween funfetti mix with chocolate chips, my own special combo

4. Annoy your dog some more. I took some more pics of Belle being cute and sleeping between our laptops.

5. Leave your house and visit a friend with a better view. When, we got really bored we left and went to a friend’s house to enjoy their rooftop view.

The wind gusts are A LOT stronger from 45 floors up!

6. Find an open restaurant. Hurricanes make me hungry.

You are looking at a fried ravioli stuffed with chocolate and bananas, smothered in berry and grand marnier sauce, and topped off with pumpkin ice cream. Yes, it’s a good as it sounds.

7. Carve a pumpkin! Hello! It’s Halloween!

Draw your pattern.
Rip out it’s guts….
Carve carefully, and tada!!! (That’s a cat and a dog in case you weren’t sure.)

8. Annoy your dog one more time. She could at least pretend to be excited that I just carefully carved her portrait into a pumpkin.

Poor sleepy puppy

9. Play cards. I taught Dad-in-law and Zoey to play Rook (a favorite in my family)

If you play Rook, you know this is a TERRIBLE hand.

10. (Husband’s tip) Play with your camera. Husband’s subjects of choice were my wedding rings.

He’s getting pretty good with that camera.
Highlighting the hidden Mickey

If all of these steps fail then watch a Sex and the City marathon, read a book, drink a few bottles of wine, do some yoga, or take a nap! Work will start again before you know it!

Stay safe NYC, cheers!