Media Monday: iYoga

While walking on the beach has been great for burning calories and clearing my mind, Yoga is the one thing that I've found that has made a marked difference in my body shape. Being *cough* over 40, I have to work a little harder than I used to at keeping my waistline visible. Watching a yoga class, it's hard to believe that you can burn calories holding strength poses. I mean... you're just standing there, right? There's no bouncing around to techno or lifting your body onto an eighteen inch step or pumping weights or anything like that. You're just bending and stretching and breathing. How can that be a workout?

Actually, yoga is deceptively challenging! So many muscles are engaged when holding a pose, not to mention your mind. In Warrior 2, your feet stabilize you while you hold the forward lunge, knee in a 90 degree bend, tailbone is tucked under as you engage your core, arms outstretched front and back, shoulders down, focusing on some imaginary point just beyond your fingers, picturing your muscle groups in their correct form, all the while remembering to breathe.

I used to regularly attend a yoga class at sunrise. Every morning at 5:30, I was in a small studio by the beach with eight to ten other students, toes at the end of our mats, ready for our morning stretch. For the next 90 minutes, we stretched, posed, twisted, and balanced our bodies as the sunlight poured in through the windows, revealing the fogged up windows from all of our sweating.

As life started getting more hectic, I found it harder to get to the studio. I've been looking for an at-home option that was as challenging and active as the class I was taking. I spent a few dollars not finding the workout I was looking for. Finally, last week, I found a workout that was similar to the one down at the beach. While searching for something to download on iTunes, I came across YogaWorks 3 Pack from Exercise TV. This includes a beginner program, great for someone just starting out. Since I'm already familiar with the poses, I decided to buy the second two separately. The one I've been doing this week is Body Slim.

It feels so good to be back into a regular yoga practice! So good that I thought I'd share. I'm giving away three $15 iTunes cards for three lucky readers. Hopefully, the winners will actually download a workout. :) To enter, subscribe to the blog and leave a comment below. Winners will be contacted this Friday via email.

Good luck!

Media Monday: Playlists

Yesterday was all about the color purple. I was painting the Smart & Social office. Two walls are now the color of royalty and the back cinder block wall has cartoon type depiction of purple tulips. I still need to hang a mirror to break up the large wall of purple and add in some green stems to my tulips, but here it is so far:

After prepping the floor and pouring the paint into the tray, I turned on my music. Music tends to make any project easier to complete. As I painted and listened, I started thinking about the strangeness in the diversity of the music that I had on my playlist: Barton Hollow, Miguel, The Head and the Heart, Pink, Billy Joel (love the Piano Man), G. Love, Blue October, Foster the People... all those collective sounds made hours of painting go by very quickly.

I was telling a friend about another playlist that I turn on when it's "that time." I pull out the cookie dough, the red wine, and my playlist made up mostly of the iMix, Soccer Mom Chillout (mellow tunes from David Gray, Amy Manne, Lauryn Hill, Nora Jones, and others). Then there's the playlist I turn on to clean the house on Saturday mornings. It's actually a soundtrack, but whatever... Moulin Rouge. Dusting is so much more fun to a little gitchy gitchy ya ya dada.

I started to get curious about what other people have on their playlists, so just for fun... and because I love you for stopping by to read my blog... I'm going to give away a $15 iTunes card! All you have to do is share a playlist in the comments and I'll randomly choose a winner this Friday. (By randomly, I mean I'll make my kids pick a number between one and the number of final total of comments.)

Have a great Monday!