Tag Archives: restorative yoga

Intuitive Exercise: Restorative Yoga

Last night, Dominique and I were talking about intuitive exercise: responding to what workout your body really wants to do.  Forget about what you think it needs, forget about what you had planned to do, but really tune in and respond to how you are feeling.  Do your muscles feel eager to prove how much they can lift?  Do you legs want to go for a wild spin?  Do you feel like you are about to break through a running threshold?  Do you want to torch some calories so you can indulge in some ice cream?  Or do you just want to cultivate a bit of energy to power through the day.  Rather than forcing it to do something it’s just not in the mood for, your body will send you signals as to what type of activity will benefit it most.

This morning, I woke up feeling really sore from being hunched over the computer all day.  So instead of going to Body Pump, I attended a hatha/restorative yoga class.  I promised myself that I would stay for pilates if I felt the need for some more strengthening.

That yoga class was pure bliss.  We took everything really slow, which is exactly what my body needed.  My muscles were so tight and tense that the best thing for them was a slow, gentle stretching.  Plus, we held poses for so long, so I was really able to melt open.  After yoga, when it was time for pilates, I just felt so loose and limber (not to mention calm and serene!), I didn’t want to risk tightening myself back up.  So, I didn’t 🙂  And I feel great today!  I didn’t get the awesome burn that Body Pump gives me, but I felt like I was really taking care of and honoring my body.

After Sam and I did a grueling errand (the DMV – I shall say no more) we went to Tabora Farm Market for a treat!  They have the best baked goods around, but apparently, they also have the largest chickens….

check out those chick’s legs!

HE WAS A BEAST and as tall as the seat of the chair!

While we chose a cookie, we looked around the store and I was so surprised to find some meat pies, just like in New Zealand!  They were even called “down under pies”!

Yes, Australia is pictures, but many people also refer to New Zealand as “down under”  🙂

But not only that, we found New Zealand Sea Salt.  Unbelievable!

I wonder if it is really special?  Maybe it gives you dreams that you are at a beautiful NZ beach or something.  I should have gotten some.  I think I need to go back!

What I did get what an espresso chocolate chip cookie with almond slivers.  Sammy and I enjoyed our cookies while walking around Lake Galena in Peace Valley Park.

We are so lucky to live in such a beautiful place.  This lake is just 5 minutes from our house (when the covered bridge isn’t closed lol) and I wish I’d spent more time there this summer!

My plan for tomorrow is an outdoor run, but only if my body says it’s ok!

Do you practice intuitive exercise?



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Filed under Fitness, Life, New Zealand, Yoga

Legs Up on the Wall

Before we left for Trivia Monday night, I was hit by intense hunger!  So I ate some Big Cheez-Its, which are obviously better than the regular kind, and I also tried some dark chocolate-covered prunes, which are actually really good!

At dinner, my mom and I ended up splitting the vegetarian nachos after some buttered rolls as an appetizer.  Then, we each got a pear salad with walnuts and goat cheese, which is really good!  My favorite thing on the menu; every pub should have it.  My friend Nicole and I went crazy and ordered the warm brownie with ice cream for dessert, which was simply heavenly!  It had whipped cream with chocolate AND vanilla ice cream.  Plus, it was sprinkled with espresso powder.  I told you it was heavenly! Should have photographed it…

As for trivia, we came in third place.  Respectable.

Yesterday, after a very filling breakfast

(of a whole wheat bagel with peanut butter and some banana slices) I did a yoga session from Yoga Today.  This week’s free class is a beginner’s class, but I really enjoyed it!  Since I’ve been doing a lot of strength training and intense cardio lately, I am leaning on my yoga practice as more of restoration and meditation than anything.

After yoga, I hit up the Y for a pilates class and a good hard run on the treadmill.  It was actually one of my best runs, ever!  For someone like me who does not own a Garmin watch, I like treadmill runs so that I can really see what I am accomplishing.  Yesterday, I did 3 miles in under 30 minutes, which I have only been able to do a few times!  Yay!

Once back from the gym, I made a wrap with roasted garlic hummus and a little egg frittata with peppers and tomatoes.  Corn-on-the-cob-off-the-cob on the side!

As a little lunch “dessert” I had the rest of my banana from breakfast…but with some nutella!

After lunch, I ran many, many errands.  My car does not have working air conditioning so it is very the “h” word.  My cars radio has also recently become posessed by the devil, so it is going a bit haywire.  Result: I was going a bit haywire.

So once I got home, I had another slice of pound cake as a snack 🙂

Then, I made a really easy, delicious, and exciting dinner!!  I made naan pizzas, and all you need is onions,



BBQ sauce,

and whole wheat naan!

These naan pizzas were inspired by this recipe from Eat, Live, Run.  She even baked the dough, but I just topped the naan with some BBQ sauce, shredded gouda, caramelized onions, and some chickpeas.  Then I just popped them in the oven for 8 minutes at 450*!

They were a hit 🙂

After dinner, Dominique and I went to her house for dessert.  We had some digestive biscuits they brought back from Scotland, plus I had a lolly pop we brought back from NZ.  They are called “Starburst Sucks”


Then, Dominique and I proceeded to do even more errands, during which we ate a box of Hello Panda.  Have you ever had them?  They are awesome and currently on sale at Target for a dollar.


When we came back, she made us a smoothie from frozen berries, almond milk, and protein powder while we watched America’s Got Talent.  Turns out, America doesn’t really have that much talent.

This morning, I played it safe and just went to a yoga class after having a similar breakfast to Monday’s.  It was actually a really great class!  It was relatively challenging while still opening my muscles gently.  This class has an extra half hour of restorative postures at the end, which I LOVE these days.  Everyone should try this today: it’s called “Legs Up on the Wall”

You can even do it in the dorms! He we are before bed at Pitt.

All you do it lay down, scoot your butt against a wall, and straighten your legs up above you.  If your hamstrings are super tight, you can put a pillow or blanket under your bum.  I like to use a strap to pull down your feet for an extra stretch, or you can simple lay your arms comfortably out at a T.  Hold it for at least ten minutes, then do a forward fold afterwards to make sure everything lines back up right.  It’s awesomeness!  It’s great for opening your legs, back, and even your chest!  All in a very gentle, restorative way.  I try to do it every night because you can do it lying on a bed against a wall, too!

After yoga, I made some cinnamon toasted chickpeas!

I pasically sprayed some chickpeas with cooking spray, drizzled them with cinnamon sugar and nutmeg, and then put them in the toaster oven for 10 minutes.  They were a great little snack, but I also had to have one of these Special K bars to curb my hunger.

I love them because they are only 90 calories and they taste like a rice krispy treat, but I also hate them becuase they are highly processed.  I should have just had another serving of the chickpeas!  But I eventually did get that extra serving of chickpeas…on some leftover pizza for lunch!  And of course…corn-on-the-cob-off-the-cob.

Try the “Legs Up on the Wall” pose and let me know how you like it!


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Filed under Fitness, Food, Life, Recipes, Yoga