Sunday, April 29, 2018

Yoga for Addiction: 7 Ways Yoga Can Support Your Treatment Program






7 Ways Yoga Can Complement a 12-Step Strategy

Yoga makes a natural companion to 12-step programs in a variety of other ways as well:

  1. Teaching pranayama, or controlled breathing, to gain control of thoughts and emotions
  2. Emphasizing the spiritual connection through meditation and prayer
  3. Gaining a sense of self-discipline to avoid impulsive or negative actions
  4. Releasing negative energy through movement with the asanas
  5. Developing a sense of accomplishment leading to increased self-esteem and decreased feelings of inadequacy
  6. Creating a stronger, healthier body leading to a stronger, healthier mind
  7. Developing a connection to other like-minded yogis in recovery


Saturday, December 30, 2017

A Look Back 2017

In 2013 I wrote my own version of a bucket list. I've mostly forgotten about it, but every now and then I remember to take a look at the list and see where I'm at. As in years past, I'm pleasantly surprised to see that I can cross off a few more items now!


  1. Travel more - Our family vacations these past couple years have been to military graduations. Early 2016 we toured Chicago and went to a Cubs game to see Kid 2 graduate Navy boot camp. Later that same year we spent time up in the Ozark Mountains area of Missouri during Kid 3's Army boot camp graduation. This summer we spent a fabulous weekend in Charleston, SC playing in the ocean, riding jet skis and touring historic downtown after Kid 2's graduation from Naval Nuclear Engineering School.                                                                                                          The past couple summers we have also travelled to Iowa for my girls national dance competition. (Grand National Champions 2017 thank you very much!)                                                                                                  This past August the kids and I drove up to Kentucky to see the total solar eclipse. It was simply amazing!
  2. Dance more 
  3. Ride in a hot air balloon - I had forgotten this was on my list. Every year our little town hosts a Goat Days Festival (read about the best yoga class ever here). This year the festival had hot air balloon rides and since I was teaching Goat Yoga (the best yoga class ever!), my and the kids got passes for a free ride. We only went up about 50 feet in the air but it was still pretty exciting. 
  4. Finally find a sun dress that doesn't make my butt look huge -2017 is the year I learned to dress for my body shape without hating my body shape. (Finally right?) A job promotion at work took me out of sneakers and yoga pants and in to professional work attire. Fortunately I took the advice of a friend and walked into a store out of my price range to shop for a new look. The sales woman asked if I needed help and I told her not only do I need help is she ready for all  the help I need?! I stayed in the fitting room while she brought me outfits to try on, taking all the stress away from me. She taught me more about how to shop for clothes in that one afternoon than I think I've ever learned.
  5. Skydive
  6. See the Grand Canyon
  7. Not wait for special occasions to dress up - Although I sometimes miss the ease of wearing black yoga pants and sneakers every day, most days I enjoy dressing nice to go to work. I even went to our local Merle Norman and let the shop owner paint me up in adult make up. Every morning I carefully put on my make up with the tricks she taught me. 
  8. Swim with dolphins
  9. Go on a cruise
  10. Whale watching - written about January 1, 2015
  11. Take an aerobics class in Los Angeles with Richard Simmons at his Slimmons Gym
  12. Ride a cable car in San Francisco
  13. Visit all 50 states - Iowa, Kentucky and South Carolina 
  14. Have more fresh flowers in my house 
  15. Take a surfing lesson
  16. Take ballroom dance lessons - written about April 17, 2013
  17. Be more spontaneous 
  18. Publish my book -  Published and available for sale here! 
  19. Attend Summer Solstice in Times Square - written about January 1, 2015
  20. Finish my 500 hour RYT
  21. Get back to a regular yoga practice again- I'm always planning on getting back to a regular practice. Someday
  22. Get back to a semi-regular meditation practice again 
  23. Stress less about finances
  24. Make time to read more 
  25. Redecorate my kitchen - written about January 1, 2015
  26. Take more pictures 
  27. Walk more - I walked/ran the St Jude Half Marathon! For real! 
  28. Get a Labradoodle dog - technically I don't own a Ladradoodle. However, I get to dog sit a Labradoodle a few times a year for some friends. 
  29. Be able to afford a house cleaner
  30. Watch my kids grow up to be healthy, productive adults - Kid 1 is living on his own with some good, sober roommates. Kid 2 is a Naval Nuclear Engineer. Kid 3 is in the Army National Guard and working a full time job with great growth potential. That's 3 productive adults so far! I'm 50% to my goal of 6 healthy and able young adults. 
  31. Stay healthy into my old age
  32. Walk the beach more - After driving 10 hours to Charleston, SC the first thing we did is drive 30 minutes further to get my feet in the sand and run through the waves.
  33. Take more chances
  34. Attend more live theater 
  35. Find a way to combine what I love to do with a way to support myself financially - although I'm not financially stable like I want to be, I can say I am making a living doing what I love to do
  36. Laugh more 
  37. See my book for sale on Amazon - Creating A Joyful Life: The Lessons I Learned From Yoga and My Mom
  38. Be debt free
  39. Care a little less what people think
  40. Paint a baseball field onto my backyard - I don't know why I haven't crossed this off the list before. But I've had a baseball field mowed into my backyard for a couple summers now. 
  41. Take the kids to Disney World
  42. Find balance 
  43. Be happy- I was asked recently if I'm happy. Of course I have times of worry and still a lot of financial stress and fear, but overall, yes I am happy. 

The year the Cubs won the World Series

Folly Beach, SC

Hot air balloons rides at night

Iowa

Not really our own Labradoodle with
definitely our own rescue pup

Grand National Champions

Total solar eclipse, Kentucky

Folly Beach, SC

Monday, December 11, 2017

High Blood Pressure: How Yoga Can Help Stabilize Blood Pressure Naturally

The most recent update from the Centers for Disease Control says 70 million Americans, about 29% of the population, have diagnosed high blood pressure, known medically as hypertension. Hypertension is diagnosed when the top number, systolic, of a blood pressure reading is higher than 140 and the lower number, diastolic, higher than 90.

Hypertension increases the risk of heart attack and stroke, two of the top three causes of death in the United States.

Although systolic blood pressure tends to rise naturally as people age due to increasing stiffness of large arteries and long-term build-up of plaque, there are ways to naturally combat elevated blood pressure, including yoga.



Click here to read the rest of High Blood Pressure: How Yoga Can Help 

Stabilize Blood Pressure Naturally




Saturday, December 9, 2017

I Went MIA But I Ran a Half Marathon!

Two months!

It's been two months since my last post. That just makes me sad and a bit ashamed.

So to catch you up, here's what I've been doing:

I'm still working my new job and it's still going well, except October was budget time and I've never been responsible for a budget that large before and how do I know how much revenue each department will bring in during 2018 and oh my god what if I budget wrong and this is really stressing me out and then I got sick, just my yearly Southern fall upper respiratory thing but then kid 5 had a serious injury and we were in LeBonheur Children's Hospital for two days and then literally the next day Kid 4 had a very serious injury and she was admitted to LeBonheur Children's Hospital for two days and I didn't even go to work for a couple days but I have the best co-workers in the world and it wasn't even an issue and we are still running to follow up appointments and Kid 4 is still having signs of spinal chord trauma which is pretty scary and then because of all that I forgot I was sick so then I got really sick and gave in and paid $150 for the doctor to tell me I was sick and prescribe an antibiotic but I guess it was too late at that point because a few days later I had to pay another $150 for a different doctor to tell me I was really really sick and I needed a stronger antibiotic  so I came home and slept for 12 hours straight and then 5 days later I RAN A HALF MARATHON!

Along Riverside Drive. This is the downhill part
where I was blissfully unaware of the hill
coming up next. 
I really did it. I ran the St. Jude Half Marathon.

And actually crossed the finish line!

The night before a friend and fellow personal trainer texted me and said "just remember don't get caught up in all the excitement and start out too fast. Go at your own pace."

Good advice.

That I totally ignored and took off like a bat out of hell.

It was really exciting to be running the streets of Memphis with people lined up all along the way to cheer us on.

I was feeling really good and had my best split at mile 5 which is the dreaded Beale Street hill. But I powered up that hill like it was nothing and at the very top got a text from Kid 2 who had been tracking me on the St Jude Race Tracking app.



 Heck yeah! I am moving baby. I got this! But it's also about that point I realized I had got caught up in the excitement and I needed to slow down. My broken foot from last year was starting to remind me that it never really healed properly and it was starting to get warmer outside.

Remember, I hadn't trained for a month since getting sick and dealing with the kids injuries. My last training day had been on an unusually cold day and when I left my house at 6am the day of the race I was dressed for a chilly day.

But at this point I still felt good.

Running along Beale Street

And then, about mile 8 reality set in. Holy hell I still have five more miles to go. And my own race GPS was telling me I was a half mile ahead of every race marker I saw so I was getting really discouraged and a bit pissed off.

Why did I even decide to do this anyway. I'm not a runner. I hate running. This sucks.



About mile nine another text from Kid 2



I did not make it under three hours because those last four miles just sucked. Like sucked big time. The route took us through the less interesting parts of Memphis where there weren't as many people lined up cheering you on.

Honestly what happened was I got in my head here.  We were on the same stretch of road for two miles so it felt like I was getting nowhere, I was tired, I was hot and I was ready to be done.

Finally I could see the mile marker 13 up ahead and I could see AutoZone Park, so I knew the finish line was getting close. I was trying to will my feet to go faster when all of a sudden my phone went crazy with notifications.

It was messages from eight of my lifeguards and two of my kids telling me how proud they were and congratulations and I was almost there. What are the odds that all those messages came through at that exact moment when I needed the encouragement the most?

I powered through and I crossed that finish line like a boss!

I heard someone call my name as I came
through the finish. She snapped this pic of me as I
officially crossed.


I DID IT. I RAN A HALF MARATHON!

And I even have the medal to prove it.


Saturday, October 14, 2017

Half Marathon Training: 10 Miles

Yesterday I taught my first class in more than two months and it felt so good to be teaching again! I filled in for the new HIIT class at my YMCA. HIIT is High Intensity Interval Training and we all were dripping sweat by the time we walked out of class.

It was fabulous!

Today I did my 10-mile training run in preparation for the St Jude Half Marathon. Although just a training run, I set a new PR for myself. PR is running lingo for "personal record." My time was great and the ten miles felt good.

Tonight, though, I feel like this:


Sunday, October 8, 2017

I'm A Crappy Mom: Part (I've Lost Track By Now)

Alternative Title -- I Regret Being Such a Bitch To My Mom


Today began like this:

My 16 year old daughter mad at me because I won't let her take MY iPad on her Mexican cruise she is leaving on in an hour. She storms through the house and on her way out, says to her brother, I hope I never come back!

Being the calm rational mom I am I go storming out, fling open the door, and yell "You ungrateful little bitch! I hope you have a good time on your trip." And then I slam the door hard enough that the windows rattle. 

Yep, I went there.

Kid 4 is acting like a perfectly normal, age appropriate 16 year old girl.

And I'm not handling it very well.

Aside from her general ungrateful, bratty, roll-her-eyes at me attitude, she's a good kid. Straight A's in all honors classes, dances 5 nights/week, teaches dance 2 nights/week, not boy crazy, responsible and basically reliable kid. 

Her teachers love her. Other parents love her.

I actually enjoy spending time with her. 

Except when I want to just run after her, grab her long blonde pony tail and yank her onto the ground and pummel some sense in to her. 

I do understand that at 16 years old, she is genetically designed to be a horrible human being.  I do understand that at 48 years old I should have enough maturity, wisdom and parenting skills not to buy into her 16 year old behavior.

But apparently I don't.

It's almost like she turns me into a 16 year old bratty person too. 

I'm mean really. She is leaving for a five-day cruise to Mexico over Fall Break with her friends. I will be home working. Her brothers and sister will be home bored all week because they don't get to go anywhere and I'll be at work.  

Would "gee, thanks Mom" really kill her once in awhile?

She makes me feel like nothing I do, nothing I can give her, is ever good enough. She has brought me to tears more than a couple times. 

I know we will eventually get through this. And one day she will look back and regret acting this way towards me. And one day I'll see this is nothing more than typical strife between teen daughters and their mothers. 

But until that day, all I can do is try and remind myself that she is very much her mother's daughter.




Tuesday, October 3, 2017

What It Feels Like To Be A (Half) Marathon Runner

My hips hurt.

My hamstrings are tighter than they have ever been.

My yoga practice is suffering greatly due to lack of time because of training runs multiple times per week.

My yoga practice is suffering greatly because my flexibility has left the country because of all the running.

Reminder: I'm using the word "running" very loosely here.

I've gone through multiple rolls of KT Tape on my broken foot and an old injury on my knee.

I haven't had time to do any strength training in 6 weeks because any fitness time goes to training runs.

Have I mentioned how much my hips hurt?

I took a yoga workshop today and the instructor asked what happened that my hips were so tight? Oh, just training for St Jude I told her.

I'm not sure if it's just here in Memphis or if it's marathon runners everywhere that refer to the St Jude Marathon as just "training for St Jude." This is a BIG race amongst the marathon and half marathon community. Everyone knows it.

There will be real, legit runners there. The kind of runners who are qualifying to run the Boston or New York City Marathon. There will also be the groups wearing funny costumes and leisurely strolling their way along the race route.

I'll be somewhere in the middle. Well, probably closer to the back of the middle!