SUP Yoga Birthday

I’ve been meaning to write about my SUP yoga birthday for a while now, and I finally have some time while the kiddos are napping to update the blog! The first time I did Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP) was in Charleston with my bestie a few years ago. Her boyfriend is an avid surfer, and they own their own SUP boards. So, we took them out to the inlet, but not being too excited about what was in the water (we passed a few jellyfish), I was too nervous to get up on my feet, in fear of falling. So yeah… I paddled while on my knees, and that was basically it. It still peaked my interest because it is a lot like kayaking but with the option of getting wet and working your core, plus it offered options for doing fun yoga positions.
So, fast forward to this summer, my favorite Yoga studio in town Breathe Yoga, decided to host a summer series of SUP yoga classes out on Lake Lanier. The dates they had listed for June, the first month didn’t jive with my schedule, so I looked into the company they were using, and that’s when I found Atlanta SUP Yoga.  I snooped around their site a bit, and got to their calendar of events and noticed that on my birthday, August 10th, they were hosting a Super Moon Sunset paddle that evening!  I called immediately to see how many spots were open and then sent out a few emails to friends who I thought would be interested in joining me on, and Wallah! A fun evening on the books!

Four of the six of us carpooled and met for dinner beforehand at a really cute fun place called Pelican Pete’s right on Lake Lanier.  It really made me feel like I was on vacation being there.  Straw tiki hut style roofs, live music, cool breeze by the water. It was perfect! They didn’t have a lot of food choices (mainly bar type food) but we were just looking for a small bite before we hit the water.

After dinner, we met up with the rest of the crew, and our instructor at Vanns Tavern Park at Lake Lanier to get our SUP on!  The instructor Christy was awesome, and we started with cracking glow sticks to make necklaces and bracelets for when it gets dark.  The session was from 6:30-9pm, so even though it wasn’t dark when we started, we knew it would be getting dark when we were returning and they require by law for you to have a light on when it’s dark out.  So, why not bedazzle with glow stick jewelry?

It. Was. Amazing. I fell in love! It wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be to get up on my feet. Once you’re on your knees, you go to table top position, and gradually push back with your hands and your feet push back into a squat, and then stand up with your paddle! I had the best company too.  A few girlfriends from my neighborhood, a longtime friend of mine from church, and a few playgroup Mom friends came, and it was the best group of girls! Lots of laughs and fun and simply the best way to spend my birthday!  We decided since all of us practice yoga, that we would do some yoga moves on the paddle board as well.  It wasn’t nearly as difficult as you would think and Christy was a certified yoga teacher, and was able to show us simple but effective positions.  Once you get the balance down, adding yoga is just a fun way to make it more interesting and to give you a new perspective and awareness.  It was so incredibly serene.  We thought the yoga would be the highlight of the night but God had something else to surprise us.  Just as we were paddling back, we looked behind us to see the most amazing sunset intermixed with overcast clouds.  Pink and purple hues with rays of light bursting from behind the trees.  Truly incredible!   Right when we though we had seen the perfect sky, we see the super moon peek over the horizon during our paddle back.  Large orange super moon!  The instructor had her iPhone, and took pictures, but it didn’t do it justice!  I wanted to bring my phone since it had a waterproof case, but the instructor said she didn’t advise it because it could very easily get dropped into the water and gone forever. So, I took her advice and just left it behind. But man… that was one incredible moon!

Now… I want my own paddlboard. Seriously!  I joke with Dan all the time about it.  If they weren’t so expensive, I probably would already have one right now! We just had such a great time that night, and it made me realized how close we are to Lake Lanier (only 22mins away from where we live) and how much we could really make the lake a fun part of our summers as the kids get older. I remember some fun times on the boat on LL as a kid as well, and would love for my kids to have those same memories.  So, I told Dan that we must go out on the lake soon, and we made plans for Labor Day to do just that.  More details in a future post on our boat rental and ride.

Turning 33 went off without a hitch, and it was by far the most adventurous and serene birthday thus far!

 

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#Shesgotlegs Challenge

A friend of mine over at In Balance Yoga Crystal, who I went to school with is an amazing Yoga teacher and great friend. We have two kids that are within days and weeks of each other! Our boys are a day apart and our daughters are a few weeks apart. When she challenged me to the #shesgotlegs yoga challenge, I thought it would be a good way for me to be intentional about my yoga practice at home. I’m more of a studio yogi and can’t seem to get motivated enough at home or know exact poses to do.  It’s a challenge where there are poses every day in the month of August, and you do the pose to the best of your ability and snap a picture of yourself in that pose and post to Instagram with the #shesgotlegs hashtag.  It’s that simple.

I thought it was a helpful challenge to me, but I learned some things about myself and ultimately I have decided to quite doing this picture-taking portion of the challenge.  I think it’s a great challenge and it’s great for people to encourage one another to go further in their yoga practice, but for me, it ultimately left me with some insecure feelings.

Let me elaborate. I  know yoga is for EVERY Body. I know… However, it has really brought out my insecurities about my weight having pictures taken of me in yoga positions when I’m not fit.  I know it may sounds very superficial and maybe self absorbed, but it’s true.  I know some of you understand.  The unfiltered truth is, that when you have extra weight on you, that not only is it more difficult to get into more challenging poses, but they don’t photograph as well either. You can’t suck in, you can’t do that “skinny” angle…it’s very open and vulnerable.

There’s good news in this though.  It has really been just the motivation that I’ve needed to get back into shape.  The right way… the feel good and look good way. The motivation not to stop until I’m living a life that I know I should. No excuses. I’m too young to be continuing on  the way I have and I’m too smart to not just “do what I need to do” to get there.

My grace period is over. I’ve had three kids in three years, gone through Lyme disease and the ailments that followed, and now that I’ve recovered, it’s time to get serious!  My goal is to focus on cardio and strength training 4-5x a week with yoga mixed in 2-3x a week.  Dan and I signed up for a 5k at Lake Lanier in November, so I am working on getting in shape for that.  I’m working on eating less and retraining my body limit foods with processed sugars, grains, carbs and  fill with whole foods and protein. Not easy, but totally doable! As a longer-term goal I can focus on next Spring when Dan and I will be celebrating our 10 year wedding anniversary and even though we don’t have anything planned, I would love to be fit, looking good, and feeling good by then!

So here I am… flaws and all. Letting the chubbies all hang out. I enjoy practicing yoga, and I will continue to do the #shesgotlegs challenge on my own, I just won’t be taking any more pictures of myself in the poses! Crystal was able to give me tips on how to do a headstand too. I was using a chair to help me kick up at first, but now I can do one on my own without a chair. This week in Heated Power Yoga I was able to do my first headstand at the end of class. Something I had been working towards for several months! Baby steps! I never thought my body would be able to do all these yoga poses and inversions, but it has. This has reminded me that my body is capable of so much if I have faith that it can do it! I’m asking God to help me along the way with prayer and intention, to work through me during my workouts. More updates to come!

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Working on my Fitness

It’s past due.  I’ve had a few hiccups in getting back to my pre-baby weight.  The busyness of life mixed with many obstacles such as overcoming poor health from Lyme Disease, moving and getting settling into our new home, raising three kids… the usual.  I decided a few weeks ago that I’d had it.  I’m tired of the excuses.  I needed to do something consistent every day if I wanted to see results.  My problem was, that some days I would do great.  Sienna would go down for a morning nap, I would zip off to the elliptical trainer, get some cardio in, and maybe again in the evening I would go for a walk before or after dinner, but then some days, I had laundry or something else that needed my attention and my exercise routine always suffered.  I knew that if I wanted to  see results, then I had to come up with a strict plan and stick with it!

yoga-tree-poseAbout a month ago I convinced a friend to come to a yoga class with me at a nearby studio Breathe Yoga that I had been eye-ing up since we moved here.  After my first class, I knew it was something that I wanted to make apart of a weekly routine.  It centered me- for lack of a better word.  I have three kids, I’m a busy Mom and our house is loud.  This place was quiet.  My house has demanding expectations. This place leaves expectations at the door.  It is a place that helps rejuvenate me and when I leave there, I leave with a boost!  It also helps me be intentional about having “me” time.  I can do something for myself without the title of “Mom” or “Wife” or “Friend” or whatever.  Of course, I am all of those things, and will always be those things, but for the hour and ten minutes that I am intentional about the practice of yoga, I get to be in the moment with just me.  Just my breath.  I can choose to invite God into my heart and mind, and meditate.  Or I can choose to have some quiet time alone focusing on my breathing.  I love that!

So, after a handful of visits to the studio, I found which instructors I like the best, and I am regularly going twice a week now.  Saturday mornings they have an intense Hot yoga class, which is my favorite class and on Tuesday nights they have a “Yoga for Everybody” class which is less intense, but a great addition to my week.  On the days I’m not practicing yoga, I’ve made a commitment to wake up every morning at 6:20am and hit the elliptical trainer for 30-35 minutes and then rotate doing some muscle strengthening exercises following that.  The kiddos start stirring around 7:15, so it gives me lots of time to get my cardio on why they’re still asleep.  Dan takes off for the gym early, so I bring the video monitor downstairs to listen out for any early risers.  The boys have a clock that turns green in their room at 7:20 and they know to play in their rooms until it’s green if they’re awake.  Most of the time, they abide by that rule.iworkout

There you have it.  I’m SERIOUS about working on my fitness.  Going on almost a month of this fitness routine and I’ve lost six pounds.  Still working on being more conscientious about my food intake.  Quality is ok, quantity is not good.  The good news is though since I’ve been working out, I’ve felt less hungry and have had more energy throughout the day.  I am ready to receive the kids in the morning with joy instead of feeling irritated that they’ve woken me up to start a new day.  I’ve been more intentional about my quiet time with God and I feel that I’m growing spiritually too, which is huge.  I know in order to be in the best overall health, it requires me to transform my mind, body and spirit to focus on HIM.  That is my mantra!