Saturday, January 5

Yoga practice for Pregnancy

Yoga Fit magazine's Oct. 07 edition had an article called "Listening: Your Practice for Pregnancy." The entire article is available online so you can see the suggested postures or asanas.

The content of the article focused on how to be mentally during your yoga practice and how to listen more to your body through different methods, which is invaluable, pregnant or not. Photos of postures specifically for pregnant women accompany the article - the whole reason I purchased the magazine - but of course I didn't try it until this morning. :)

Since it was kind of short (estimated 15 minutes), I integrated it with another yoga sequence I found online for women in their second trimester - I wrote about it on Dec. 7.

Beginning in flapping fish pose from the yoga sequence was comfortable to rest in and prepare for the practice. Then I moved into thunderbolt or hero's pose and gracious pose. Following this I did the cat/cow (or dog) stretch, recommended in both practices, and afterwards did the squat flow in the Yoga Fit article. After that I did all the standing postures in the online sequence and practiced the remaining postures from Yoga Fit beginning with pigeon and ending in savasana with props.

The way the Yoga Fit article suggested being in savasana felt really good, by the way. I've been having a hard time completely releasing into corpse pose or savasana since having to do it on my left side due to not being able to lie flat on my back during pregnancy. However, the article suggested using a block/pillow or a bolster underneath your head and back to prop you up. It was very comfortable and much easier to melt into my mat and really let go.

To make this a more complete practice, I would add some sun salutations after cat/cow to warm the body up more - pigeon pose was a little harder to get into than normal. I also added some seated postures towards the end like head-to-knee pose or janu sirsasana and cobbler's pose. Plus I also did happy baby (to make my baby a happy baby!) and an easy spinal twist on my back.

Try it out and tell me what you think. Hopefully you can follow my madness - otherwise just follow the two sequences as separate flows.

Friday, January 4

Life is like a tea bag

A woman is like a tea bag - you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water.
~Eleanor Roosevelt

This quote was posted on Breathing Space and really spoke to me. Especially since I love my daily cup of green tea (no I HAVEN'T given up caffiene, but I do drink less of it), the metaphor resonated.

It's been a week since my husband was laid off, and it was really tough going back to work, albeit a three-day work week. I only told one of my coworkers the news because I didn't want to deal with the looks of pity and worry. However, not sharing meant hiding my sadness and fear of the unknown. Honestly, I do believe it helped to not talk about it because focusing on it is not the answer to making the situation better.

To help gain a better state of mind, I've been waking up an hour earlier to read some inspirational books like You can Heal Your Life and then do yoga for about 30-60 minutes. Having this time in the morning has helped me prepare mentally for the day. Today was the first day in a week I truly felt happy, although I wonder if it had something to do with it being Friday - TGIF!

I also want to meditate more so I reserved a ton of meditation books at the local library. Can't wait to start digging into those. Meditation is definitely an area I need to utilize more, and I think my husband would enjoy it as well.

Thursday, January 3

Power of positive thinking

During my last business trip, I purchased the October Fit Yoga magazine in the airport. However, I left it at my parents during Thanksgiving and picked it back up again over Christmas. It has tons of great articles for pregnancy, but I'll get to those another day. A recurring article called "Bernadette's Blog" talked about a particular Yoga Sutra. Check out wikipedia to learn more in general about the Yoga Sutras, but in general it's considered the "guidebook" of classical yoga, is about 2,000 years old and has 195 sutras or threads within it. (Yoga is much more than the postures or asanas.)

The Yoga Sutra referred to is 2.33 - vitarka-bandane pratipaksa-bhavanam. In English it means:

When disturbed by negative thoughts, opposite (positive) ones should be thought of.

In light of my husband's job loss, I've been having a hard time staying in the positive. I can feel it weighing me down physically and mentally. Dwelling in the negative only multiplies that action and result. This sutra reminds me to flip my negative thoughts and come into gratitude for things we do have to bring more positivity and energy back into our lives.

Wednesday, January 2

Post-baby body help?

Returning back to the office today meant surfing for my daily feeding of the latest gossip.

Today featured an interesting article about Brooke Burke's fitness secrets during and after pregnancy. Apparently the pregnant celeb swears by wearing a belly-compression wrap post pregnancy called Taut. Knowing how kick ass her body looked after her last pregnancy, I thought this deserved more research. I discovered her online store Baboosh Baby sells the 'Tauts' for $56 - $62, and it looks like they should be worn for 40 days "after natural pregnancy."

Burke also is a firm believer in doing Pilates during and after pregnancy. I myself have a certification in Pilates, and I remember distinctly during my training the instructor educating us to warn pregnant women against doing Pilates and core work in general.

Not sure what the right answer is on Pilates during pregnancy, but I think I may need to order me a Taut... if anyone has ever tried it, let me know!

Tuesday, January 1

Getting the resolve to set a New Year's 'solution'

Ah, the New Year's resolution... I've never been into creating resolutions, yet the Today show this morning inspired me to set one. But what should my resolution(s) be?

One Web site suggested watching less TV. Admittedly, I have a bad habit of vegging out on the couch for hours at a time on weekend afternoons and during prime time after work. Reruns are also a culprit, especially shows from my high school and college years like Beverly Hills, 90210 and Friends - I've probably seen every episode of each series five or six times. Okay, I know, I'm a freak! For some reason I enjoy it, but I will acknowledge it's a big waste of time. And with a baby arriving in five months (OMG! I'm not ready!), it would be good to curb my television viewing now instead of cutting it cold turkey in May.

I found a decent article on called 10 Tips for Keeping New Year's Resolutions. Apparently I missed the boat by not planning ahead (step #2). Perhaps next year my pre-New Year's resolution will be to have a resolution created by the first week of December. Another Web site had a suggestion to make it quantifiable so I'll know if I am successfully cutting back on my evil, television habit. I must confess I probably watch 20 hours of TV a week, but I will have to emphasize I do clean, read and accomplish other things while it's on. Do I sound like a junky making justifications for my habit?

Here's my suggested (gulp) resolution - also remember step #1 is to make it realistic:
  • Watch only two reruns a week of Friends and/or 90210.
  • Watch TV 10-15 hours per week (higher end during first half of the year and lower end by mid-year when the baby is here).

Guess I better not waste all my hours watching football today - maybe my resolution can start tomorrow. :)

Monday, December 31

The end of a wonderful 2007

"Once you make a decision, the Universe conspires to make it happen."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

This year has brought many milestones: buying our first house, turning 30, owning my first dog and now being pregnant for the first time. It's been an amazing year, and I'm so grateful for all the new joys in my life. So that's why what happened last Friday took me so off guard; my husband was let go from his job, which happened right after we opened Christmas presents with my side of the family.

I couldn't believe the callousness of his former workplace. Not only the timing - the Friday between Christmas and New Years - but that it was done over the phone and during his vacation. I'll admit I threw an enormous pity party for about a day. However, when I was trying to go to bed that night I remembered a simple affirmation I learned from Louise L. Hay:

"All is well. Everything is working out for my highest good. Out of this, I will receive only good and abundance, and I am safe."

Simple as it is, these words really helped calm me down and moved me into a more positive outlook the next day. It also helped me be strong for my husband, and now we're saying the affirmations together to keep both of us in a positive state of mind so he can move onto bigger and better opportunities in 2008.

Sunday, December 30

Another family slideshow of the holidays

Family slideshow of Christmas

New bundle of joy for Christmas

Introducing Drew Miles to the world!

I had the pleasure of meeting Drew this weekend - he's my good friend Shannan's new baby boy. Even held and fed him. Scared me half to death to pick him up, but he didn't break! Good 'baby step' (forgive the bad pun) to prepare me for our baby on the way.

I'll have to admit it was comforting holding Drew, and it gave me more confidence I could handle being a mom in 20 (or so) weeks when our little bundle of joy arrives. So thanks Drew, big sister Avery (pictured right) and Shannan for giving me a confidence boost.

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