Poolside Yoga

I took my own advice and had a pool side rendezvous with my yoga practice this afternoon. It was nice and hot and sunny. Pictures first and then I led myself through a gentle flow. I really wanted to make a video but my camera batteries were low and my charger is packed away in some random box back in Montpelier.

 

I really like this pose, but it wasn’t always that way. Whenever I used to see people—okay, mainly girls—do this pose I would roll my eyes and go “stop with the sezzy!” You just cannot help but look like a sexy mermaid. Oh yes, notice our pug Buffy photo bombing.  This isn’t the last time you’ll see her.

 

Today was not a good day for handstanding, alas. Buffy doesn’t seem impressed

 

Oh firefly. I remember when I was first learning how to do this posture a few years ago. I wanted it so badly. Now I love settling into it during Primary Series. Someday I want to do the other variation when you drop your butt lower and bring your toes up to the sky.

Living on the edge and upside down! I want that to be the title of my book on arm balances and inversions, and I think this picture captures that idea pretty darn well. Just playing around in full wheel.

I was inspired by Noelle Beaugureau to try this out. And now to work it into a flowing sequence!

 

Peel Away ❤

Jocellyn

 

Ps: A funny story, because you know I love telling them. Well, my parents opened the pool a few days ago, and the bottom is still a little icky. I was helping my mom prep the brush when she said this:

“hold the head [of the brush] underwater until the bubbles stop.”

“It sounds like we are drowning someone in the backyard!”

“SHHH! You don’t want the neighbors to know were connected to the Mafia.”

“Clearly were getting the low paying jobs since we don’t have a pool boy.”

 

Gotta love family

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I’ve Been a Bad, Bad Girl. I’ve Been Careless With My Delicate Body

The thing about living a healthy lifestyle that revolves around eating well and exercising is that unless you’re being paid for it (i.e fitness models, competitors, athletes, endorsers, etc.)  you’re probably going to slip up every so often. I’m well aware that breaks are prime time for slippage. You are no longer beholden to your usual schedule, meaning you have more free time. I typically go into these periods thinking of all the time I’ll have to work out, try new foods, etc, but, being honest, I really just sleep more, watch Netflix, and keep pushing my workouts back.

Sooner or later you’re going to start to feel bad physically and emotionally. If you have gone back to eating less than healthy foods (or you find yourself going to the bar more often…) you’re body is going to start throwing little temper tantrums as it attempts to process all the unsavoriness you’re feeding it.  You’ll also start to feel emotionally crappy. You might not be sleeping as well, you might notice certain areas of your body becoming softer, and you might be upset because you know it’s wrong. Good. You should. And I don’t mean this in a horrible way. I’m a firm believer that you should fuel the body as well as feed the soul. Without both, life would be pretty boring, however going out to the bar all the time and eating takeout on the regs is not feeding the soul: it’s feeding some void. One takeout order: acceptable. Just don’t let it become a habit! And don’t go on an emotional down spin where you restrict everything and start working out an unsustainable level. Use that motivation to humbly get back on the wagon.

One of the first things I needed to start dialing back on was the drinking. Going out 3x a week and having 2 drinks at the bar doesn’t necessarily equal getting plastered, but it does equal a lot of money and empty calories that start to compound. I’m normally pretty good with my finances, but getting $100 less in a paycheck than usual because of exam’s week and going out drinking like I had been meant having the call dad with my tail between my legs. Not going to happen again!  Plus moving into my new, cheaper apartment  means I need to start being a little more militant about my drinking, lest I want to call daddy-o again!

The second thing I needed to get back in my life is yoga. For the past month and a half I haven’t been going to glasses due to a yoga related shoulder injury that just wouldn’t quit. I kept my sanity by making those YOGA MANIA videos (I should start that up again, right?) and working on my handstands at home.  I’d occasionally take some muscle relaxers and bum around about how I did this to myself f. This week, I finally decided I needed to get back on the yoga horse. The night before I went to an ashtanga class my shoulder started acting up again, which made no sense because I hadn’t been going to yoga in ages! And then it all made sense! Chris and I had recently changed our beds around again, and I was back to sleeping on my basic futon mattress instead of a futon mattress on top of a regular mattress. So all along it was my pesky bed that had weakened my right shoulder (I’m rather partial to sleeping on my right side), not my yoga practice. I practically floated to class with joy and had one of the best 90 minute practices in a really, really long time. Time for a new bed! Oh, daddy! Just kidding…But really.

On top of yoga, I’ve started exercising again. I know, sigh, moan, roll your eyes. I’m that girl that constantly talks about how she is going to exercise and never follows through. I know, unappealing, but I’ve been looking back at the women in Oxygen magazine and remembering how much I appreciate a well sculpted body. Plus, I think as humans we need to sweat it out and push ourselves, and since the majority of us no longer have fields to toil in, working out is the next best thing. Yesterday I did a Zuzana Light video that took 25:27! I thought I was going to die. I followed it up with a clean lunch (haddock and corn) and a protein shake. I’m still pretty sore from it all, but I slept like an absolute baby and feel amazingly refreshed this morning. It feels 100% better to be back on the good food, exercise, and healthy mind set.

Workout

10 reps Dive Bombers
5 Burpees
20/20 (right/left) Squat Leg Lift
5 Burpees
10/10 Side Plank Lift
5 Burpees
10/10 Pistol Squats (w/ the help of a chair)
5 Burpees

It took all my energy to muster this “flex”

Our life has ups and downs, and I like to think that we learn a lot from our ‘down’ moments. We learn how to get back on our feet and we start to appreciate how awesome the ‘ups’ really are. So if you are like me and have been slipping for a little bit then pinch yourself on the cheekies and wake up. You don’t have to wait till Monday to shake off your bad habits and start back over again!

Peel Away ❤

Jocellyn

Ps: Check out my friend Jillian over at Zest&Honey: She is going through the same sort of business I am and combating it with some tasty Avocados!

Inspirational Yoga Video

I follow the amazing Kino Macgregor through her Facebook page, and she just posted a video this evening. Truly inspirational! I think yoga has amazing benefits. I also think eating whole, real foods has amazing benefits. So often we are encouraged to find hope within western-medicine and thinking. Again, I’m not against medication (as we know it) when needed, but I truly believe in the power of eating well and employing complimentary therapies like yoga, massage, and acupuncture to help people who are truly hurting.

Namaste & Peel Away ❤

Jocellyn

Yoga Mania! Flip It Upside Down!

Hello!

Last week I posted a yoga sequence for lovers of headstand. Alas, there where probably some people who couldn’t do a headstand.  Have no fear, here’s the tutorial on how to do one! Burst into the world of inversions with confidence and strength. It may not be so graceful at the beginning, but that will come with time and practice!

Namaste & Peel Away!

Jocellyn

Pink Makes People Smile

Bear with me, folks. This site is getting a much needed face lift. In my portfolio class we were complimenting and critiquing people’s WordPress blogs, and in the process I learned so much about this site. Gosh, I feel like a little 80 year old granny when it comes to this platform.  Since I’ve now figured out how to add additional tabs up top (amateur hour, I know), I’m even more excited to grow the fashion side of this blog because it’ll have its own special spot.  So, speaking of fashion, I have a fabulous new outfit to show off. And my Picasa finally updated itself and I got all these crazy new filters to play around with. Clearly, I’ve been living in the technological stone age  :-\

I’ve been wanting this really awesome coral-pink top at work. It’s a size 3x (22 plus) and I was waiting for it to go on sale so I could a.) Buy it for $1.75 b.) Give someone that size ample time to snag it (we don’t have to many plus size tops.) I moved in like a hungry shark the last day it was on sale.

For one, I love the color. People always tell me how lucky I am to have dark skin because most colors look great on me (FYI: I cannot, however, rock brown or moss green), but I generally stick to my neutral. The top was calling me, for some unbeknownst reason. I’m glad you called, lady, I’m glad you called.

 

It can be really difficult to find a baggy top. Generally, for it to look good, you need to buy a baggy top that is designed for someone your size. Sometimes, luck is on my side!

And from behind! Since I’m wearing a loose top, I of course have to balance out the bottom with something tight.

This top makes me wanna rock out!

How awesome are those sleeves?! They make me feel bad ass. Like, ‘Imma mess you up’ bad ass!

The final test of a great outfit: Can I pull off some yoga asana whenever my back feels the need to bend? This outfit gets two thumbs up!

And finally, my other awesome set of mala. These, I admit, I did not make. I saw them at Goodwill. I feel like whoever had them before had some potent, amazing energy.

Spring is officially here. Summer is biting at our ankles. Time to whip out those fun colors!

Peel Away ❤

Jocellyn

 

Yoga Mania: Shoulder Squeeze

Allow me to introduce shoulder squeeze. This is one of my favorite arm balances. Some days it is off. Some days it has a fire that would rival Katniss Everdeen (hehe). I’m always finding ways to grow in this perch like posture. And, with a bit of practice, so can you! I have big hopes for this bundle of joy. Perhaps someday it’ll look like this. Until then: practice, practice, practice.

Peel Away ❤

Jocellyn

Yoga Mania: Hips Don’t Lie

Hey everyone!

After a sufficient stay in time out, my batteries were feeling revitalized enough to make this video. Hip opening can be very frustrating for people with tight hips. If you run, bike, ellipitcal (yup, I’m making it a verb), or even walk a lot, your hips will slowly start to tighten up. Just take it slowly, breath deeply, and give your body time to open up. Your stretch should feel good and have a little ‘bite’ to it. The kind of bite, like, when you’re kissing someone and they gently bite your lip, type of bite. But don’t let the bite progress to the level of gnawing. It ain’t hot in kissing, and it definitely isn’t hot or good for your yoga practice.

 

Peel Away ❤

Jocellyn

So Juicy I’m Making Couture Jealous

This baby is older than me!

After working at Goodwill for 15 months, I’ve come up with a  sound theory on donated items. If someone has donated an appliance that is very old (from the early 90’s or 80’s and back) one can assume two things.

1 The item at hand was really amazing, but the person/family decided to upgrade after 10-20 years to the newer version of the appliance.

2 The item at hand had been stowed away for years, and the person/family had decided to donate it  because it had been collecting dust for 10-20 years.

One should always be weary of more recent or seemingly brand spankin’ new appliances that have been donated. For example, several months ago I bought a Sharper Image juicer at said store. I was beyond miffed to find out how inefficient it was (I could practically drink the left over pulp that should have been dry!) Thus, I realized the excited person/family must have used it once after the 30 days they had bought it, been unable to return it, and had driven to the Goodwill in anger and donated it. My Kitchen Aid mixer from the 60’s has proven to be an absolute tank, so when my eyes settled upon the Tefal Juicer from 1989, my heart fluttered like a twitterpated song bird.

Note: The day I left early to buy the juicer was the day I was forced to block one of my neighbors in…oh the drama, but it was sooooo worth it.

I’ve been into green smoothies for more than a year. In fact, they were what catapulted me into a more sound and healthy diet. However, I’ve always been intrigued by juicers, as it’s nice to add something new to the mix. Unfortunately, you are way more likely to find affordable  blenders than you are affordable juicers. The cheapest, reputable one is Jack Lalanne’s at $100, and most others can cost around $200 and up. Sadly, $200 was something I was unable to magically pull out of thin air, so I jumped when I saw the juicer at GW for $12.99 (they rarely come in.)

Juicing is great because it allows you to liquefy vegetables for easy consumption. My blender is not super powerful, so when I make green smoothies I can really only incorporate greens like spinach, collard greens, and the occasional Swiss chard. There was a whole land of carrot, beet, celery, and apple juice that I was not privy to, sigh. Plus, when you make your own juice there aren’t any added sugars and chemicals that are found in store bought juices. Yup, you heard me, this is juice you can actually drink on a regular basis!

When you blend or juice fruits and vegetables, the enzymes break down and your body has a far easier job of digesting them. With smoothies (which I will be writing a post on), since you don’t strain anything you are able to maintain the fiber. With juicing, the fiber is removed in the form of pulp and you are left with what I like to call: the essence. I don’t think one is significantly better than the other, though, I will admit that smoothie-ing is less of a process than juicing—there are so many parts of a juicer to clean! However, I think you do miss out if you are only able to do one. So, if your finances allow you, buy both!

So far I’ve made three awesome juices with my juicer (which has yet to be named!) I made a lot of stinker green smoothies at the beginning, so perhaps this learning curve is a lot better.

Recipe #1- I decided to try out a really simple juice so I could acclimate my taste-y buds

4 Oranges

2 Carrots

Teeeeny, weeeeny piece of ginger

I bought some Valencia juicing oranges at my local co-op for 30 cents a piece! Carrots are great because they do yield a large amount of juice and oranges are a sweet punch of vitamin c. The ginger was for some pizzazz and to make me feel a little hard-core.

Recipe #2- Getting a little green!

3 Oranges

3 Carrots

2 Kale Leaves + Tiny bit of spinach

I was really excited to use kale, because it doesn’t blend so well in my little Proctor Silex Blender. I first put in the carrots, then the kale, and finally the oranges. If you decide to use greens make sure you have something to add afterward to push through any leftover pieces and juice that might be sitting in the spout! I’ve noticed that when adding greens you can definitely taste them initially, but if you have something sweet in the drink (like the oranges) that is the taste you’ll be left with.

Recipe #3- Just Beet It

2 Beets

3 Carrots

2 Oranges

Chris and I don’t get many things at the co-op (wayyyy outside our budget for a full trip), but when I saw a bunch of 4 beets for $2.99 I had to get them.  This definitely wasn’t as sweet as the other juices, but still palatable. Because of that, I wasn’t able to slurp it down as fast as the other recipes and the rest is in my fridge for tomorrow morning. Here are some ones to tips, recipes, and nutritional facts on this voluptuous purple root veggie.

When you are showering, making breakfast, or have a few spare minutes, listen to this video on juicing. You’ll pick up great tips on what fruits/vegetables will fill your cup up and what greens won’t leave you feeling like you bought a bunch for nothing.

Some things to remember with green juices:

If you aren’t used to eating fruits and vegetables tread lightly into the realm for the first week or two. Most of these recipes have topped off my 12 oz mason jars. That’s a lot of fruits and vegetables to be drinking in one sitting and can cause what is kindly called “runny tummy.”  Your body will soon adjust, trust me, but you might find yourself having to go to the bathroom if you sip it down with the same amount of ease as Tropicana Orange Juice.  Finally, freshly prepared juices start to lose nutrients quickly. It’s advisable to drink them immediately or within 24 hours. As the video above mentions, grapefruit and orange juice can last up to two days if properly stored.

Peel Away ❤

Jocellyn

Be ready for a delicious hip opening sequence tomorrow!!!