Category Archives: Yoga

Finding Yoga {Again}

Yoga mat | happyfitmama.com

The snow falls slowly, flake by flake, on the ground. Piling up gently, one on top of the other, just like soft down pillows. As I lay in Savasana, I watch the snow pile up rather than closing my eyes. This scene is as calming as any that I can imagine in my mind.

Over the weekend, my yoga mat came out of hibernation and saw the light of a studio. A place it hasn’t been in quite some time. It felt like I was coming home. I seriously almost shed a tear walking into the studio. It truly was marvelous.

This weekend, was all about finding yoga {again}.

We slowly warmed up through the usual series of cat/cow, side bends, etc. We then moved on to Surya Namaskara A or Sun Salutation A (I was so pumped that I even remembered the Sanskrit names!). As I stood in mountain pose, I felt electric sensations pulsating through my hands, my feet, my legs, my core. My body awakened like it’s been asleep for years. In a way, it kind of feels like it has. While I’ve been a little bit better about incorporating some form of home practice, it’s definitely not the same feeling as a true studio. There’s no distractions. Cooper isn’t parking his butt directly on my mat. My kids aren’t jumping on my back as I’m in down dog. In a studio, it’s just me and my mat. And the other people in the class, of course, but they are too busy doing their own thing to even look at me.

Going back to a yoga studio has been on my mind for months (years?). I just wasn’t able to find a place that jived with my schedule. The last straw was last week after I had a re-eval for PT. It was with a different therapist than whom I had been seeing since November. As she went through the different tests for strength and ROM, the one word I heard a lot was tight. “Your ROM is decreased and you are tight in that area.” Tight is one word that has never been used to described my muscles. If anything, I’ve been TOO flexible. A red flag was raised.

Fix this or you will have more injuries.

Chair pose | happyfitmama.com

Besides feeling tight all over, I’ve also felt like my whole body has shrunk a couple of inches. I feel like my posture has changed. I feel like my core has shortened. I just don’t feel like me. Just like when I can’t run, I don’t feel like me. I want to feel like I did when I was really into my yoga practice. I felt taller. I felt longer. I felt stronger (in mind and body). I felt like I was actually breathing better with fuller breaths.

So that’s where I’m at. I am committing to making this work. How am I going to add one more thing? Good question. Marathon training takes up a ton of time, no doubt about it. Add that to the mommy guilt/family guilt for being gone for hours on the weekend for my long runs. If all I can squeeze in is one session a week, that’s good enough. If it’s two – fantastic. Stressing about it won’t do me any good.

But I know I need to do more than just run to be the runner that I want. Or really, the person that I want to be.

Yoga – fan or not your thing?

2015 Goals

Believe I Am Journal | happyfitmama.com

Happy New Year!

Is it really 2015? It must be because I’ve been writing 2015 for the past 3 months. I guess I’m ready for it!

Does anyone else get really excited when January 1st rolls around and you’ve got a blank calendar/planner to fill in with all the important dates of the year?

By the end of the year, the calendar looks messy and tired. I like the freshness of a clean slate. A place to plan. A place to set goals to hit throughout the whole year.

Last year I shared my 14 goals in 2014. That was a little too much. I followed through with some, but most of them I completely forgot all about.

I’ve got big goals to go after this year.

2015 Goals

NO INJURIES! Every year I say this and every year (at least for the past 3) I’ve been sidelined with an injury. This year I mean it and I my body better be listening this time. For me to make my goals, I need to be injury free. In the past, I’ve kept up with my physical therapy exercises and then some. I thought I was doing everything right and yet I still get injured. In 2015, I’m taking it to another level.

Strength/Cross Training 2-3x/week. When I get deep into training, all I want to do is run. Or rather it seems like that’s all the energy I have to do. This year, I’m getting a sports conditioning trainer. I know what my imbalances are. I know what I need to do to strengthen my weaknesses. But it makes a HUGE difference when there is someone watching my form continuously, challenging and pushing me. More details to follow on this soon.

Run 1500 miles. For the past two years, I’ve had this goal and have come so close. But again, taking time off for injuries prevented it.

Marathon. I’m running Boston in April with Team Stonyfield. I’m training for it as a goal race. My number one goal is to PR. Hopefully a rather large PR since both of my marathons have not been at all what I trained for (thanks injuries). I’d really be happy with a sub 4 at least.

Half Marathon. In 2014, I set the goal of a 1:45 half marathon PR. It turned out that every 1/2 marathon I did was either for fun after an injury, fighting an injury or DNS because of an injury. I only have one 1/2 on my schedule so far, Zooma Cape Cod (join me and get 10% off with code ANGELA15) , in September. However, I’m still looking for a goal race TBD.

10 Mile/10k/5k. I’ve only run two other 10 mile races (HERE AND HERE) and I loved each one. It’s been a couple of years since the last so I’m quite confident I can PR at the Mid Winter Classic on February 1st. Current PR is 1:23. I think I can at least pull out a 1:21 if I’m having a good day. I’m planning on doing the Dover Road Race Series again this year. That means a ton of 5ks and a 10k with lots of opportunity to embrace the suck. I’d love to sub 22 in a 5k and sub 47 in 10k.

Trail Running. As I say every year, I need to get on the trails more. It’s just too much fun. I’m hoping to spend a little more time in the dirt and do at least a couple of trail races.

Yoga. Have you seen my yoga? I’ve seemed to misplaced it. My flexibility has gone down hill in the past 6 months. I haven’t taken the time for yoga and it’s shown. My goal is to get it in at least 1x/week. Hopefully more.

I want to try new races. I want to run new distances. I want to run new routes. I want to meet new running friends. Most importantly, I want to have fun. I love running and I never want it to become something I “have” to do. I choose to do it.

I do have a few professional goals as well. I’m still trying to figure out which path I’m going to take next in my career. I’m hoping to expand my running coach clientele (I’m for hire!), take on more freelance writing opportunities and begin studies toward becoming a health coach. I’m in desperate need of a change. This is definitely something I’m going to be focusing more on in 2015.

What are your goals for 2015?

Back to My Yoga Mat

Target® C9 Style Haul 9  happyfitmama.com

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Target® C9 through their partnership with POPSUGAR Select. While I was compensated to write a post about Target® C9, all opinions are my own.

Having time off from running has made me realize two things:

1. I’m really crabby when I don’t run.

2. My body needs more yoga. Again.

At one time I really was focused on becoming a yoga teacher. It’s still part of my long- term goals, but it just isn’t feasible right now with work, child care and well, life in general. It takes a lot of time. And rightfully so since it entails a lot!

Target® C9 Style Haul 5  happyfitmama.com

Somewhere along the way this year, I lost my yoga practice. I’ll do yoga at home, but I love it best in a studio with others. The vibe is different. My practice has more meaning and intention.

So when my Achilles started to hurt and then my lower back, I knew it was time to get back to my yoga mat. If I want to run high mileage, yoga needs to be a part of my weekly routine. And if I really wanted to do it well, it meant going to a yoga studio.

What better motivator to do more yoga than cute yoga clothes?

Target® C9 Style haul 2  happyfitmama.com

Target® C9 has it all, no matter what your activity. From yoga, running, Barre, Pilates or hitting the weights, you can expect quality clothes at a great price. That really means you can buy more!

I’m absolutely loving the printed legging trend right now. The paisley print lets me get a little bit funky without screaming LOOK AT ME!

I like to keep a hoodie or long sleeve top on during the beginning of a yoga class. Especially this time of year when I’m coming in from the cold. This cowl neck yoga top is perfect for that. It’s like your favorite pair of sweats made into a shirt.

Target® C9 Style Haul 3  happyfitmama.com

Another thing to love? This outfit is perfectly acceptable to wear as a comfy lounge look without looking sloppy and screaming “I’m in workout gear!”

Such a versatile outfit that’s completely affordable…I think I should buy more! That’s always marvelous.

Do you prefer yoga at home or in a studio?
Do new workout clothes motivate you?