Category Archives: Yoga

Retail Therapy

CALIA | Dick's Sporting Goods | happyfitmama.com

This post is sponsored by Vocalpoint and DICK’S Sporting Goods. All opinions, as always, are my own.

Retail therapy is part of recovery from an injury, right?

The good people at Vocalpoint and Dick’s must have known that I needed a pick me up after learning that running still wasn’t happening anytime soon, when they graciously sent me a gift card to check out the newly redesigned women’s section. I gladly headed to my local Dick’s to drown my sorrows in new workout gear. Spoiler alert – you can get some help with your own retail therapy at the bottom of the post!

DICK's Sporting Goods  happyfitmama

While my running wardrobe is seriously stocked with all the right essentials, I have been lacking in yoga specific gear. It’s one of the activities I CAN do right now so I’m pouring my heart and soul into it. Sure I can wear my running capri’s and tanks, but it can be quite annoying to constantly fix your tank after every single down dog or inversion. I want something that stays in place and I don’t have to adjust it no matter how I twist, bind and get my OM on.

It had been awhile since I actually shopped for myself at Dick’s. And I was pleasantly surprised. The aisles had been widened and there were more outfit pairings throughout the women’s department. It made me want to actually look at the clothes. The CALIA line by Carrie Underwood and Lucy Activewear stood out to me. How come I never noticed their stuff before? Everything was so pretty and could easily go from the studio to running errands. Because let’s face it, I wear my workout gear everywhere even when I’m not working out.

little shopper happyfitmama.com

I brought along my little “helpers” to test out the wide aisles and bigger fitting rooms. We no longer need the big bus stroller (thankfully), but I could definitely see how I’d have no problem managing the aisles with it.

So what did I get?

I fell in love with CALIA. I want every single piece! I wore the Keyhole Back Tank and Essential Capri’s to yoga class that very night I got it and I didn’t have to adjust anything through an hour worth of sun salutations and inversion practice. I’m really not a fan of patterned capri’s but I love the look of these. So cute!

CALIA happyfitmama.com

And the Lucy tank? Same thing – it didn’t budge no matter which way I twisted and turned in class. I love the built in cups – no need for a sports bra underneath. It does have a zippered pocket in the back that would be great for stashing a key or gels if I was running in it, but I don’t think I’d like to go sports bra-less while running.

lucy activewear happyfitmama.com

GIVEAWAY!

Here’s an easy chance to win a $25 DICK’S Sporting Goods gift card to get some of your own retail therapy!

All you have to do is answer the question below:

What’s your favorite piece of workout gear?

Giveaway ends Sunday, August 2nd @ 12 p.m. est.

GOOD LUCK!

5 Beginner’s Questions About Yoga

Beginner's Questions About Yoga  happyfitmama.com

My first love is running. No doubt about it. But yoga. Ah, yoga. You hold a special place in my heart. I kind of lost that loving feeling for a couple of years. My home studio closed and I couldn’t find another one that fit. And then I just wanted to spend all my time running, not taking time to do more than 20-30 minutes of an at home class. I was “doing” yoga but not really practicing.

Since January, when I found a new home studio, we’ve reclaimed our love for each other. I’m in the studio 3-4 days a week. Bending, twisting, stretching, lengthening, being present and letting go. Just like running, when I love something, I talk about it. A lot. So I’ll bring up things that happen in class – a pose we practiced, one that felt oh so good on my back or just how the yoga vibrations were especially good on that night.

To my friends who aren’t into yoga, they just smile, nod and say, “Oh cool.” Or “I’d love to do that, but I’m not flexible.” One thing I’ve learned from yoga is that it’s for everyBODY. If you’ve never done a yoga class before or are new to yoga, you probably have a few questions. The following are all beginner’s questions about yoga that I’ve been asked before.

1. How is yoga different than stretching? Yoga is the connection of mind, body, spirit. Connecting the mind, body, and breath helps to direct your attention inward. It’s not a task or a goal to be completed. Yoga will improve your strength, coordination, and cardiovascular health, as well as a sense of physical confidence and overall well-being.

2. I can’t do yoga. I’m not flexible. Despite all the pictures you see of yogis being made into a human pretzel, that’s not the main focus. Once you bring your un-flexible body to yoga you’ll find that it will help you become more flexible. But don’t think it’s a requirement to walk through the yoga studio door.

3. I can’t sit still. I need to move. You go to yoga and the silence is so deafening you can’t help but start to fidget. Your mind is racing thinking of everything and anything all at the same time. I didn’t pay good money to sit here. I want to sweat! I felt the exact same way when I started yoga. And I still prefer the quicker paced Vinyasa style yoga. But even a few minutes at the beginning and end of class of disconnect from all the chatter of daily life, will become a welcomed time to just have your world revolve around your inhales and exhales. Trust me, you need it.

4. Is there going to be chanting?  My new studio does more chanting than I’ve ever done before. The first class I took, I just kind of mouthed the words, not really knowing what I was saying. Thankfully the teacher did “call and response” so we listed to a line and then repeated it. There’s no obligation to chant in class. If chanting isn’t your thing, join in for the Om’s. A wall of Om’s is quite powerful!

5. What if I have to fart? This question actually came from Ron. OK and I thought the same thing before I went to my first class. I’ve been in plenty of classes where someone has farted in class. It’s to be expected with all the bending, twisting and inversions, right?! It happens, move on. Hopefully it’s not a room clearing stinkfest, though. If you are truly worried about it, make sure to not eat any foods that you know give you gas on days you have yoga. No one wants to smell broccoli when you are doing Ujjayi breathing.

What are/were some of your questions about yoga?

BTW  – Be sure to follow me on Instagram and Facebook to see what fun we are having during the Competitior Magazine/Saucony 26 Strong photo shoot!

7 Reasons Why Runners Need Yoga

7 Reasons Why Runners Need Yoga  happyfitmama.com

I’ve loved yoga for years. It’s always been the perfect compliment to my running. However, I wasn’t as faithful to my practice in the past year or so. I kind of fell off the mat. In that time frame, I also became plagued with running injuries. I was focused on the run and didn’t have time for anything else. I knew I needed to get back to my mat but the final AHA! moment came when being evaluated by a physical therapist for my Achilles injury back in October.

She said I was tight. And that I had muscle weaknesses.

No one calls me tight or weak!

Right then and there I vowed to get back on my mat in a studio. A home yoga practice wasn’t working for me. There was just too many distractions. Around the same time, I was asked to be a part of prAna and FitApproach 30 day yoga challenge, #TakeTheLeap. I love Instagram challenges and prAna so it was a match made in heaven. Or more appropriately, a match made on a yoga mat. By the way, you can still get 15% off your total order from prAna’s new spring collection with code psps15HFM at checkout.

Since reconnecting with my mat, I’ve reaped the benefits, mentally and physically. I never want to fall off my mat again!

1. It will make you more limber. Active stretching is the most effective way to increase and maintain length in muscle fibers. Those 5 minutes you spend stretching when you get home are nothing compared to 45 minutes of active stretching in a Vinyasa yoga class.

#taketheleap yoga challenge 1  happyfitmama.com

2. It will help prevent overuse injuries that happen because of muscle/tendon tightness. When we run, everything tightens up to prevent our joints from wobbling about. And that’s a good thing. But repetitively being tight is not a good thing. Your muscles and tendons need to be pliable to keep you moving comfortably for years to come.

3. It can correct muscle imbalances & injury prevention. If you run and don’t do anything to maintain strength and flexibility, chances are that you will end up with a running injury sooner or later. You want to maintain range of motion and stretch out the muscles that get tight from running. Yoga can correct muscle imbalances created from high impact training, by aligning the joints, improving bone density and stretching and stabilizing the body to prevent pain and injury. Particularly in running injury prone areas like the IT band, hips, hamstrings and knees, calves, Achilles tendon and feet.

4. It can help you recover faster. Practicing a few yoga poses after a run when your muscles are warm will help to make you feel a whole lot better the next day. Tense muscles don’t receive blood, so use yoga after your run to keep your muscles open for movement enabling oxygen. HERE are my favorites.

#TAKETHELEAP YOGA CHALLENGE 2  HAPPYFITMAMA.COM

5. It increases your oxygen capacity. When’s the last time you took a deep, meaningful breath? Most of us are shallow breathers. It’s the “normal” thing to do. A regular practice of yoga can increase your ability to breathe more deeply which results in more oxygen being supplied to our blood system. Your muscles need oxygen to fire optimally.

6. It will make you stronger mentally. Every runner needs mental toughness. Not every run will be perfect and rosy. There will be times when you want to quit. Your legs will be tired. Ever had to hold a yoga pose while your legs are burning and shaking? It’s the same thing. I’d like to think that the reason I held it together for my recent 99 laps on an indoor track, were all a part of my mental strength building thanks to yoga.

7. It will make you stronger physically. Yoga hits the upper body, lower body and core all in one. It’s a total body workout that only requires your body weight.

#TAKETHELEAP YOGA CHALLENGE 3  HAPPYFITMAMA.COM

Disclaimer: As part of the #taketheleap challenge, I was given an outfit courtesy of prAna. All opinions are my own.

Do you do yoga?

How has it helped you in running, fitness or life?

If you don’t do yoga, why not?