Wellness · Yoga

Yoga-ing

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Breathe in, breathe out…

I have been doing yoga on and off for almost 20 years.

Wait, what??

No… I’m only in my thirties, so that must be wrong. But no, I wasn’t able to drive when I attended my first yoga class – my mother drove me! So yes, that would be about 20 years ago. Sigh.

Well back to my point – I’ve been doing yoga on and off for a LONG time. I’ve tried several different types but unfortunately nothing really stuck much. It was a lot like any other exercise, forced. I had to remind myself constantly of the emotional and physical health benefits, even if I wasn’t seeing them. But all in all I kept coming back to it because it just seemed better than anything else. I think the main problem is that I would get bored before I could see results. And also, it was hard. Yes, for those of you who’ve never done it, it IS hard, if you do it the right way. I thank my very first yoga instructor for teaching me the correct way to breathe through poses, which truly does intensify the pose and make your muscles work harder. But, I would give up before ever hitting that sweet spot. Last year though, I had an ah-ha moment and it changed everything.

It was mid June and I was 4-5 months pregnant and had been hit with my second round of a terrible head cold and a sinus infection. If you’ve ever had a sinus infection you know how awful they are so just exaggerate that a little due to being pregnant. And this was the second time! I felt like I had just gotten over my first one that knocked me out in April (another story…). So I was not only dead on my feet but I was angry. WHY was this happening to me? My first two pregnancies didn’t do this to me and back then I was working full time. This time around I wasn’t working, just hanging out with my kiddos at home. Granted we had just bought a house, gutted it, and were in the middle of a complete remodel, while living there. So yes life was a bit stressful, but I was drinking tons of water, eating well and taking my vitamins daily. There was no reason to be getting so sick back to back. Well it turns out that stress can be worse on our bodies and immune systems than anything else. My OB told me that no matter how well I ate and how many vitamins I took, if I was living in a state of constant stress my body was going to take a hit. She told me to stop doing whatever it was that was stressing me out so much! Whoops! Too late to give back the house, right? And since we were doing it ourselves on a tight budget, there wasn’t a whole lot I could do about my living situation – except exercise. That was the only thing missing in my prenatal healthy habits pyramid. So with rolling eyes I googled “prenatal yoga” and found oneOeight.

I really think it was divine intervention because it doesn’t pull up on my google search automatically so it’s a mystery as to how I stumbled upon it that day. But I pulled up a few of their prenatal classes and instantly fell in love. These classes were very slow but intentional and I felt completely amazing after that first class, and slept better that night than I had in months! What I learned in the next few months doing that simple, slow yet intentional class over and over is that yoga doesn’t HAVE to be hard! It can be easy, it can feel good, it can be more stretchy than strengthy, and still have huge benefits. My muscles were relaxing, elongating and being worked yet it didn’t feel that way because I wasn’t doing anything that seemed hard. Because I was so pregnant, I focused more on the breathing aspect. When I would find myself pushing my limits and starting to focus on gaining strength, I would actually finish my session less relaxed and less satisfied. But when I focused on my breathing and just stretched to feel good I would end my session feeling renewed. I kept doing it almost every day for the rest of my pregnancy not only did I stop getting sick, but I was sleeping better and had more energy throughout the day even into my 9th month. While I was on my postpartum yoga break I found my body craving the slow simple stretches that were so relaxing and so when the time was right I started back up. Not doing regular yoga classes, but back to that same prenatal class. I do chuckle every time the instructor asks to “really listen to your body and your baby” but then I get that great back stretch and decide I don’t care!

I think I’ve finally found that yoga sweet spot.

Baking

Homemade bread

Today I needed a little baking therapy. March in Oregon can get a little gloomy and I’m still recovering from an emotional hangover from the last episode of This Is Us so I decided to drown my whoas in flour!

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Does it get any better than this?!

My GG’s homemade bread hits the spot. Some warm water, a little yeast, add some flour, kneed – let rise. Punch! Kneed again. Let rise, again. Bake. And vooahla! Not only does my house smell like a bakery but I have two huge loafs of bread (from the looks of it I should have probably used three bread pans?!). This stuff is so basic. No dairy, no soy, no preservatives, no junk. A little time intensive, yes. But like I said, baking therapy. It’s a thing, try it!

Book Reviews

Big Little Lies

Hi guys, so HBO has just come out with their new series, Big Little Lies, based on the Liane Moriarty novel. Which reminded me that I’ve had that book on my kindle since this summer and never read it. So I binged and now I have to talk about it 🙂

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I will admit I did watch the first episode of the show. That’s because I knew that certain actresses were playing these characters and wanted to get a good feel for personalities and I’m glad I did. The worst thing ever is when you have a very specific idea of a certain book character and then later watch the movie or show and the actor ends up being nothing like the character in your head. And then the movie/show and sometimes even book are all a little ruined because all you can think about is how terrible that actor is for that character! So back to the show, I think HBO cast it PERFECTLY!! While reading the book and getting deeper and deeper into the personalities and quirks of each woman, I can already see how these actresses are going to nail their characters (Ha! Coming from somebody who has no idea what they are actually talking about!).

Okay, now back to the book! My favorite thing about it was the quick wit and humor! It’s a murder mystery/who done it story which is great but I personally loved how comical the whole story was. I laughed out loud several different times. But the book did have some darker real life situations between school age kids, mothers, friendships and marriages – real stuff. I appreciated that. Makes you think, and laugh 🙂

Madeline’s character was probably my favorite. I feel like she’s the most relate-able character and she has a past that a LOT of women will identify with. And I’m kind of in love with her husband, Ed! But that’s another post. The other women have aspects of their lives that register but those characters have pretty dramatic stories, and maybe I’m a bit sensitive but it was a little hard to read at times. It’s funny how I can watch things like Game of Thrones and compartmentalize it as fantasy, yet with books such as Big Little Lies it’s a lot harder to read much less graphic scenes. Even though it’s a fictional book, the situations that these women are in are very real situations for a lot of women and I think that was always in the back of my mind while reading. Am I confusing you yet? I’m confusing myself now.

I definitely saw the ending coming. Like, I totally knew how the bullying issue would end up. And as far as who was murdered, I was really close! I had it narrowed down to two people by the end and thought that either person A murdered person B, or person B murdered person A – however there was a third person who I didn’t see coming. In hindsight, DUH! They totally would be a murderer! Kind of… you’ll get it once you read it! Bottom line is, go read this book!!! Preferably before you watch the show. Because books.

Now I’m off to watch episode 2! Yes, it’s out on demand already, yippee!

 

Wellness

Cold and Flu Remedies

How do you guys keep your kids from getting sick? Or get better ASAP when they do get sick?? Because let me tell you, I feel like I’ve tried it all. I’ve done the oil thing, the vitamins, the apple cider vinegar shots (mixed with juice!) and I even recently made up a batch of elderberry syrup, and yet here we are, all sick for the past week. Albeit, it’s just a cold virus, and not the flu, or the dreaded stomach bug, so I am thankful about that. BUT man, with having 3 kids and one being only 4 months old, I was really hoping to skip cold and flu season this year. Being mid-February I’ll keep my figures crossed that this is it for us! What do you guys do though? Really, I’ll take suggestions!

Happy Tuesday!