Motivation Monday #5

Welcome to February Friends!

MM5.jpgCan you believe the first month of 2016 has already come and gone?!?!? I think I must have blinked and missed it because I sure can’t! January was full of so many exciting visits, adventures, and exciting career opportunities I can’t imagine how February is even going to compare.IMG_0542.JPGOne thing is staying the same though, and that’s our commitment to healthier choices. We made it through one month of more conscious living: eating well, exercising, making healthier decisions, etc‚Ķ and even though there was indulging, like these amazing desserts from dinner at Delfina when my parent’s visited, we’re both feeling lighter, leener (see what I did there ūüėČ ), and full or energy!

Week 5

“If you are persistent you will get it. If you are consistent you will keep it!”

Exercise

  1. Running 1x wk 45-55min
  2. Cycling 1x wk 45-55min(Bike in the shop until Wednesday ūüė¶ )
  3. HIIT 1x wk 30min (45on-10rest 6x w/25sec rest btwn rounds)
    • Squats
    • Mountain Climbers
    • Lunges
    • High / Forearm Plank Transitions
    • Side Step Wide Legged Squats

Dietary Plan

Breakfast: Homemade Chia Bars OR Oatmeal w/banana and nuts

Lunch: Ground Turkey Burrito Bowls OR Mixed Green Salad w/Tuna

Snack: Hummus w/Pita & Cucumbers, Protein Shake, Multigrain Tortilla Chips w/fresh pico, trail mix packs, OR apple w/nut butter

Dinner: Salmon Burgers & Sweet Potato Fries w/ zesty slaw (I know we eat these all the time but they are sooo good, I promise I will get more creative soon), Mixed Mushroom Marinara w/ whole wheat penne, OR 1 of 3 Plated meals being delivered later this week (check out Foodie Friday this week for some delicious meal ideas)

 

’til next time, keep smiling! ūüôā

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Motivation Monday #4

Welcome to the start of another exceptional week friends!

yoga-photography workshop-5.jpgWhile my family has been in town we’ve been keeping busy with long walks around the city, bike rides over Golden Gate Bridge, Paint Nite, rooftop dinners, and awesome city meals! I feel like Phil and I took a mini vacation even though we never left the Bay Area.IMG_0533.JPGWe have one more day until Mom & Dad fly home which isn’t keeping us from staying committed to kicking butt and keeping¬†healthy for the 4th of our 16 exceptionally motivated weeks. My day started bright and early with a bike ride, yoga class, and some meditation. Then its a little more family time and crossing my fingers the weather holds out for my parents. I also have to squeeze in some work because there are some great projects in the works¬†this week that¬†I am super excited to share with you…soon!IMG_0540For now, you’ll have to be satisfied with another week of healthy eats and awesome exercises to stay healthy, motivated and feeling like your best! There is nothing quite like time with family to leave you feeling full of energy and ready to tackle another week!

Week 4

“Life doesn’t get easier, you just get stronger!”¬†

Weekly Exercise: Yoga Daily, 45 minutes cycling 2x week, and HIIT 2xweek

Routine: Pyramid Style  (2x week)                                                                                                                     (10sec, 20 sec, 30sec, 40sec,30sec,20sec,10sec rounds w/15sec rest btwn)

  • burpees
  • lunges
  • mountain climbers
  • skaters
  • plank

Breakfast: scrambled eggs whites with cheddar cheese & spinach on sprouted toast and orange juice OR oatmeal with banana and walnuts

Lunch: tuna salad with mixed greens OR tofu bowl with veggies and quinoa

Dinner: cauliflower pizza, fish tacos with zesty slaw, OR whole wheat pasta w/roasted veggies & marinara.

Snacks: Health Warrior Chia Bars, Trail Mix, Hummus w/cucumbers, carrots & pita chips, and apple w/peanut butter

 

’til next time, keep smiling ūüôā

Wellness Wednesday

Happy Hump Day!

We’re mid-way through another wonderful week and I for one am beaming today! There is a lot to be grateful for everyday but today especially because my sister and parents are coming to visit!! That, and things are falling into place more and more with my career and our live’s here in San Francisco.yoga-photography workshop-10 In the coming weeks there are lots of exciting things happening! Everything to come¬†has¬†to do with growing in my career, so I couldn’t be more excited that I have time with some of my family beforehand; which brings me to today’s Wellness Wednesday topic, balance.¬†Work-Life-Balance1When I mean balance, I don’t mean the kind I do on my head or in the picture above ūüėČ I mean happily and effectively managing all the different aspects of life. I used to get this tunnel vision when it came to the different aspects of my life: I would focus on whatever I wasn’t happy about and figure out a way to fix it or¬†make it bend my way. Sometimes I would succeed but most of the time I wouldn’t and I would end up morwheele unhappy than when things started. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I was really able to make a sift‚Ķthings just were not working. Now, my focus is on finding time for the little things, working smarter, and allowing myself downtime.¬†I know as life continues and children are added to the picture, things will get even more exciting and the challenge of balancing things out might become more tricky¬†but in the end, its ALL doable. Whatever your priorities in life, you’ve got time for all of them and the stuff you want to do too, it just takes a bit of balance. If you’re not sure where to start, begin by taking 5-10 minutes to be silent, alone, and just see what pops up.

 

’til next time, keep smiling! ūüôā

Motivation Monday #3

Hello Friends!

IMG_4750.JPGI am filled with love and excitement from such an incredible weekend at Yoga Journal Live San Francisco and I can’t wait share everything I absorbed with my students! This week is going to be a little crazy with Phil traveling AGAIN¬†¬†and family visiting but we’re both doing our best to stick with regular exercise and smart dietary choices.¬†img_00342
Our routine for the week is going to be a little harder to follow but we’re happy with how things have been going and excited¬†for the weeks to come as well! Yoga is obviously at the center of all I do, but I’m doing some cycling to supplement this week and emphasizing simple foods to see how that feels.

“If it’s important to you, you’ll find a way. If it’s not, you’ll find an excuse.”

Week 3

Exercise:

  • Yoga everyday
    & Cycling 4x/wk

Diet

  • Breakfast: sprouted toast w/pb and greens powder
  • Lunch: Salad w/pumpkin seeds, feta cheese, and balsamic dressing
  • Dinner: Salmon burger, carrot sticks & sweet potato fries
  • Snacks: Popcorn, Protein Shake, Apple, or
    Walnuts
  • Dessert: 4-6 oz red wine, dark chocolate

 

’til next time, keep smiling! ūüôā

 

 

 

Wellness Wednesday

Happy Hump Day!

This week has been a little all over the place for me but I’m confident¬†there is still time to turn it around. That is why¬†today’s Wellness Wednesday post is all about finding your focus, both on and off the mat.FullSizeRender (10)As a teacher¬†and a student of yoga¬†it is very easy to slip into a routine…just move through a sequence without paying attention, follow the same ques, repeat the same things, etc… I know yoga is supposed to help¬†you be present, focused, and all that jazz but trust me, it happens to the best of us, haha! I really started to feel that way yesterday; as I was teaching the 2nd of 3 classes for the day it felt like¬†I was saying some of my ques just simply out of habit, not necessarily because there was any intention behind it. It occurred to me I didn’t have a focus…I was just showing up. And while that may be enough for some, for me, it just isn’t. So, with a few more classes to teach this week, and a whole lot of yoga journal conference to volunteer for this weekend, I decided right there and then that I needed to take a moment to step back and find my focus.¬†FullSizeRender (11)With my classes I chose to focus on thoracic spine opening, and for myself I am focused on being present, staying motivated, and breathing through the tough stuff. There is much more in life to love than you can possibly imagine…you just have to focus! ‚̧

 

’til next time, keep smiling! ūüôā

 

Wellness Wednesday

Happy Hump Day Friends!

I have had a great couple of classes this week and am really looking forward to the ones to come. This week, my focus is on Warrior II, Virabhadrasana B, with all of my classes.

warrior22

Over the few weeks leading up to the holidays I started to notice my students anxiousness in Warrior II…everyone wanted to move just as soon as they arrived in the pose. “Where are we going next?!?!”¬†seemed to be the thought on every mind in the room, instead of focusing on the nuances of the posture at hand. So in an effort to bring more awareness to their Warriors, I have been holding my students in Warrior II for 7-10 breaths (which in a 55min class is significant).

Warrior II has always been up there as one of my favorites because it’s always a little different…there are so many different components at play. Starting from the base of the feet and working all the up to the head, there are endless things to think about.virabhadrasana-ii

Basic Alignment:

  • Separate feet almost twice hip width apart and raise arms straight up from sides reaching left to right
  • Turn right toes to the right and bend right knee so its directly over the ankle and the right thigh is parallel with the mat
  • Gaze over right figure tips, relax shoulders, and engage the lower abdominals to the spine

From there you can check a number of things but most important (I think) is making sure your knee cap is tracking directly over your fourth and big toes. If your knee looks like its rolling inward, press into the pinkie toe side of your foot. In contrast, if your knee cap is turning out, press the big toe mound into the floor.

Benefits:

  • stretch hips, groin, and shoulders
  • strengthen legs, ankles, feet, and core
  • increased focus, balance and concentration
  • improved circulation, respiration
  • lower back pain relief

My hope is you’ll find these and the coming weekly tips helpful in your own practice and daily life.¬†If you’re in SF and want to come flow with me, check out the yoga page for classes and how to sign up!

 

’til next time, keep smiling! ūüôā

 

 

Final Days

Happy Ho-Ho-Holidays!IMG_4587It’s official…Phil and I have survived our first Christmas away from family. While there were¬†definitely tears and sadness, we also managed to laugh a ton¬†and have¬†a lot of fun!¬†IMG_4580IMG_4646We enjoyed LOTS of champagne and delicious food, as well as fun and shenanigans with friends around the globe. Between FaceTime with the family and yoga challenges with friends in other time zones, the Christmas weekend has been a testament to how technology makes friends and family feel closer. It was great to watch my Godson opening his first Christmas presents, and equally delighting to share holiday fun with my yogi family across the globe – posting videos and photos as part yoga challenges made me feel more connected to the people I love, even though they’re all miles away.¬†IMG_3867I loved this¬†amazing year with¬†all the incredible¬†milestones and adventures 2015 has offered. I think the most important take away from 2015 is to live in the moment. Life is a crazy roller coaster of excitement, blessings, heartbreak, happiness, love, sweat, tears, and lessons, AND if you are looking too far ahead or behind you’ll miss what’s happening right in front of your face…life is too precious to miss even a moment!¬†IMG_4503I’m making a point to take it all in for 2016…really absorb and appreciate every sunset, hike, bike ride, adventure, restaurant experience, and moment the year has to offer – and if you find me deviating from my mission, please call me out in the comment sections below! 2016 will be the best year for Livingleen¬†yet and I can’t wait to see how it all unfolds and what lessons I’ll learn along the way!

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I am saying goodbye to 2015 and looking forward to firing up the new and improved Livingleen in 2016. I am so grateful for all your love and continued support, and look forward to continuing to offer meaningful content to my health conscious and balanced living loving readers. I can’t wait to share all the exciting offerings of 2016 and hope it will help take your healthy living quests to new heights.

’til next time, keep smiling! ūüôā

What a weekend!!!

Hey there friends!

IMG_0146

I hope everyone is getting in the holiday spirit!¬†Even though we likely won’t be seeing snow in San Francisco for Christmas, frost covered peaks are just a few hours drive away. Phil and I spent our first weekend of the season in Tahoe and it did not disappoint! We didn’t hit the slopes because we’re still working on our gear situation but we explored Squaw Village, got settled into the house, and watched the snow fall from the hot tub – not a bad way to getaway! Even more exciting, for me anyway, is the discovery that one our housemates is also a yoga instructor in SF – WHOOT WHOOT!!! I am so excited to have a fellow yogi at the house and to get to know another bay area teacher…it’ll be fun to flow together and ¬†nerd out on yoga stuff!

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It’s Phil’s birthday tomorrow !!!!! I had a few tricks up my sleeve but he has to travel for work last minute ūüė¶ , so we’ll have to save them for another time. Instead we’ll be celebrating with friends Friday at Dosa since Phil loves Indian…I still might have a thing or two planned! ūüėČ I have a lot to do for him in preparation for Christmas next week but can thankfully say I am done with everyone else. We’re going to be spending the holiday away from family this year so I think we’re both trying to make an¬†extra¬†effort to make¬†it special!

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It’s going to be so much fun to fill this space below the tree with gifts for him and have a nice dinner just the two of us. ¬†Since we’re doing Christmas here I am so excited to¬†be¬†shooting up to Tahoe for some skiing for New Years!!

’til next time, keep smiling! ūüôā

It’s December…when’d that happen?

Hey there friends! Is anyone else completely shocked it’s December?!?! I mean, HOLY MOLE, where did the year go? When I think about all the big life adventures and ‘firsts’ of 2015 it seriously blows my mind: we moved across the country, I started pursuing a full time career in yoga, we got married, I traveled to France and Italy for the first time, and the other¬†week I spent my first holiday away from my family.FullSizeRender-2Phil and I celebrated Thanksgiving just the two of us at our place and while I missed the family, it was nice to have a low key holiday. I made a full Thanksgiving spread, including homemade cranberry sauce that isn’t in this picture. There was no actual turkey but I did offer to make one for Phil – he declined because tofurkey is AWESOME!!!FullSizeRender.jpgSince the honeymoon neither Phil nor I have been the best about our diet. There was bound to be a little post wedding indulgence but we’re both feeling the results in what I will refer to as ‘love fat.’ Neither of us are all that concerned, just aware and making a plan to hit the ground running in 2016. One of the new additions to livingleen for 2016 is weekly menus and exercise routines every Monday to motivate and start the week off on the right foot!

 

’til next time, keep smiling! ūüėČ

Myofascial Monday

Hello Friends!

I hope everyone had a marvelous weekend! I don’t know if it was riding bikes with Phil, teaching multiple classes, stress from the wedding, or a combination of everything, but I am¬†all sorts of tight in my glutes after this weekend. To help, I have¬†a myofascial release session¬†planned during the Eagles game tonight…GO BIRDS!!!!675153_1280x720

I’m sure a lot of you are familiar with myofascial release but just in case, MFR is a soft tissue therapy used to relieve pain and immobility in the muscles. The goal is to release tension in the musculature and allow better circulation by loading the tissue with direct force until the muscular contraction releases. There are a ton of different options for the ‘application of direct force’ but I use a tennis ball or something similar. The idea is to find a specific part of the body that is sore, locate the trigger point (or super sore spot) and settle in to see if you can relieve some tension.¬†gluteus_medius_trigger_pointsToday’s focus is on glut med which presents as pain in the outer hip, top of your butt, or as centralized back pain. Above is an image of some of the common pain stops and trigger points associated tension in¬†these muscles.

SO, what do to….

rest your foot on the floor and your arm where ever is comfortable when you're on your side...I'm sort of moving into position here.
Rest your foot on the floor and arm where it’s comfortable on your side…I’m moving into position here ūüėȬ†

Take a few minutes in each position, allow the tennis ball to sink into the muscles, and try to soften/relax (it helps to breath deeply). Once you feel a release there, roll the ball a little up and down or side to side, find another trigger point, and repeat!

I should warn anyone who hasn’t tried this before, it can be uncomfortable! However, you should not experience any shooting pain, numbness, tingling, etc… if you do, back off¬†and find a new spot, haha, you’re likely on a nerve – no need to be alarmed, you’ll be fine, the body is very resilient!

My goal is to share more myofascial release tips each Monday leading up to the wedding, so any questions, requests, etc.., please leave them in the comments section!

’til next time, keep smiling! ūüôā