Posts tagged ‘exercise’

2017, March 17

A successful ice skating season

The ice skating season here in my city of Cluj-Napoca has closed on the 28th of February. I realized I never really talked about it while it was ongoing, so given I’m also at a loss for any other blog post idea, well, here we go ;)

I have my own skates, bought them a few years ago when I started going to the rink. They’re 10 Lei to rent, so when I was sure I’d be going more than three times during that winter, I decided to buy my own. A pair of ice skates cost 100 Lei back then (they’re about 75 Lei now, prices have dropped a bit), so it was and still is better/cheaper, and to me more reliable since I have small feet, to buy them.

The season opened on the 18th of November 2016. At first, it was a bit hard to convince myself to go all by myself.
The plan I stuck to was to go every Wednesday evening, because my BF works until 7pm that day every week.
If he also had soccer games, I’d just walk through the parking lot and get on a bus toward home,or if soccer falls through, he could come pick me up from the rink without having to wait a lot until I got out at 7:30pm.
I am proud to say I stuck to that schedule! There were only three or four times I missed due to being on holiday, and when it was -3 F or lower over here.

After asking a friend if she wanted to come with me on a Wednesday and she replied with “I’m going skating tomorrow with colleagues from 4pm”, I was pretty annoyed and forced myself to dress accordingly in the morning, and take my skates with me to work, so I wouldn’t chicken out of going alone.
(The reply above annoyed me because of its phrasing, not because of my invitation being turned down.)

So that first Wednesday, I got off work at 5pm, my fingers felt like they were about to freeze off because I forgot my gloves so I stopped to buy new gloves and then I was on my way to the rink!
The admission was in between 6-7:30pm, but I only arrived around 6:20 due to my little detour.
The rink wasn’t packed, so there was more than enough room to skate and there were many kids, but 80% of them knew how to skate better than I do, so I didn’t have to keep avoiding possible accidents.

I wasn’t even too sore the following day! (Probably helps that since the summer I started walking more again, then running, and going to the gym once it got chilly outside.) I didn’t have to stop too many times. I also didn’t have to keep the same pace as anyone I would’ve gone with, which was cool. By the time the hours were up, I even picked up more speed.

The important thing is that the above mentioned rejection forced me to go alone, and I had an awesome time. I didn’t even think to ask anyone if they wanted to come with me, for the rest of the season.
Definitely a lesson learned: stop waiting for other people when you want to do something you love!

Here’s to many more ice skating outings next season!!!

2016, June 3

Bedtime Yoga!

I know at the time this blog post goes live it’s currently morning where most of my readers reside and the word “bedtime” in the title is funny to read, but I really wanted to talk to you about Yoga today. And about Bedtime Yoga!

After an awesome afternoon spent with my friend Stephany, lots of laughs and her little nudge “Have you tried Yoga? Knowing you, I think you’d love it!”, I bought myself a Yoga mat and the next day went online trying to find a Yoga class. I figured I’d go to class once a week, and do it at home, too, when I had the time to.
Unfortunately there are literally only four places in my city which have Yoga classes (two of which I suspect have actually closed and haven’t updated their website), and none at the gym near where I live.
Good thing I had the mat already, so, I started looking around on Youtube instead. I kept finding videos like yoga for weight loss, total body yoga, power yoga and anywhere from 10 to 45 minute yoga sessions. But which one to choose?

Since I’ve never even tried it before, I was happy to find the Yoga with Adriene channel with so many great playlists for everyone’s different needs. There are also two 30-Day Yoga Challenge playlists with sessions of different lengths, and something new or different for every day. I think that is awesome for someone just starting out!
This is the playlist I started with. I didn’t get bored of the pose sequences, as opposed to if they were the same every day, and even though before doing it myself I thought of Yoga as something which looked oh-so-simple, I realized it’s actually harder than it looks. I can feel every single muscle get the workout!

It has been a blast! After the first two days, I even woke up early to do Yoga before getting ready/leaving for work when I knew I’d get home too late in the evening. When I get home early enough, I do Yoga then and maybe include Bedtime Yoga into the mix. Or, if I know I’m not able to do Yoga every day, I compensate with two consecutive sessions every other day.

I really love the Bedtime Yoga! If all else fails and I only end up doing this, I still consider it a great day, because I did show up on the mat, I did take that 20 minutes just for myself. To unwind, and let go of the day and any stress or anxiety I might be feeling. It has slowly become one of my favorite moments of the day, something I truly look forward to.

I noticed that my back doesn’t hurt as much as it did before starting Yoga, I am slowly becoming more bendy, and I started breathing deeper.
That was definitely one of the challenges – breathing. It’s funny how for the duration of the 30-day challenge, every time Adriene said her little reminder to breathe, I realized I was holding my breath… and I’m not even sure why I did that.
unnamedThe other challenge? Corpse Pose. It’s such a challenge to quiet my mind and just relax (and I know I’m not alone, friends of mine have also said this numerous times). But I do love Adriene’s approach to this. She advises to allow ourselves to acknowledge what we feel then release everything, choose to let go of the stress, of the tension, and to connect to a sensation of peace from within. I think that if we allow ourselves to feel what/how we feel, and let the emotions run though us/past us, by the time we are done with Corpse Pose we might just notice that we’ve let go of all that anxiety and unnecessary feelings, and it won’t build up, evolve and amplify into something worse.
It feels so good when I manage to achieve it all!

Are you a Yoga practitioner? What are your favorite moments of Yoga? Any advice for a beginner like myself? Or have you tried it and it didn’t work for you? What do you do instead, to clear your mind and include some kind of exercise into your days?

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