Catch Up

I’ve missed you guys!

I’ve been MIA all week thanks to a pile of assignments from my lovely professors. They are actually lovely people. but all the exams, papers and speeches notsomuch.

Only 14 more days. I can do this. Sometimes I just need a reminder.

Well I have lots things to share, I gotta catch up! With a few random things thrown in here and there.

  • I ran the Tar Heel 10-Miler last Saturday and SURVIVED. Still riding a running high off that one. My recap is coming soon, since I actually have time to write one!

    Tar Heel 10 Miler finisher medal 2013
  • Post-race Mediterranean food is the best kind of Mediterranean food.

mediterranean deli vegetarian platter

  • Mid-week fro yo trips with the roommates make life better, especially when you’re neck deep in speech writing for a public speaking class. Much needed.sweet frog frozen yogurt
  • KITTENS. My neighbor’s brother took in two kittens a couple was giving away on the side of the highway (with a bunch of other animals like goats, seriously, this is where I live). They are 4 weeks old, adorable, and I’m glad they’re going to have a good home.kitten
    So stinking cute! And because you can never have enough tiny kitten pictures:

    Photo1007
     Photo1006

    kitten 
    I promise they don’t spend all day sleeping, it’s just the only time I can get a picture of them! They don’t like to sit still.

  • I’ve drunk an unbelievable amount of coffee in this past week. What is sleep? I don’t need that.
  • I ran a 5K on Saturday! Coffee themed funnily enough. Recap for that coming soon too. I have lots to catch up on!
  • I missed What I Ate Wednesday this week (boo!) so I’m making it up, here are some of the more fun things I’ve eaten this week:
    yogurt
    Plain Greek yogurt, almond meal, coconut and cinnamon.veggies2
    An attempt at zucchini noodles. I used a vegetable peeler for the zucchini strands and heated up onions, garlic, tomato and kale to go with it and topped the bowl with nutritional yeast. It was definitely a fun new way to try zucchini and it was surprisingly noodle like.veggies
    This bowl is basically identical to the one above it except the zucchini is chopped instead of in ribbons, the ribbons definitely make things way more exciting. As you can see, I like lots of variety in my diet.lentils
    Last night’s dinner of curried lentils following this Whole Foods recipe, but minus the yogurt and cashew topping and I subbed quinoa instead of brown rice. It ended up being really delicious and pretty easy to make.

    blackbeans
    Black beans and coconut rice a la another Whole Foods recipe for lunch with my Sunday school group. Minus the red pepper and allspice because I didn’t have those.

    Photo0998
    White sweet potatoes smothered in peanut butter and cinnamon. AKA snack heaven.
  • I’m on a huge egg binge right now, I’m seriously averaging like 6 a day and I would eat more, but I feel like 6+ eggs a day is completely ridiculous. I might have a little problem.
  • Today the potential new Pilates teachers auditioned for next year, it was so fun to help in the process! They’re all super talented so it’s going to be a really tough decision.
  • My honors cords came in the mail this week! What up Summa Cum Laude? Nerd Alert.
  • Tomorrow starts my last week of college classes. It doesn’t feel real, yet I’m excited to not have to write another paper for a longgggg time. Unless I decide to go to grad school.
  • My roommate made some spectacular lemon pound cake last night, it was not gluten-free and I ate lots of it so my guts are protesting today. It was so delicious though, cake is my downfall.

What did you do this weekend?

What’s the last race you ran (or plan to run)?

Who’s excited for summer? (This girl!)

Excitement {MIMM}

I hope you guys had a very marvelous Monday, I know I did. Thank youuuu spring break!


(Thanks Katie!)

Marvelous is… Sleeping for 9 WHOLE HOURS last night. Glorious doesn’t even begin to describe it. I can’t even tell you the last time I got more than 7 hours of sleep much less 9. Clearly sleep needs to be a bigger priority in my life.

Marvelous is… Pilates teacher training! I was at training all weekend (hence me being MIA) and I learned sooo much. I can’t wait to take everything I learned back to my classes, I feel like all the knowledge I gain is going to make my classes a million times better. It was such a great experience, I just have the Mat 1 training done, so I’m hoping to work my way through the rest of the trainings in the next year or so.

Pilates teacher training manual

And the studio I did the training at was absolutely beautiful, I will definitely have to take some classes there over the summer.

Marvelous is… Random frozen custard runs.

goodberry's frozen vanilla custard with chocolate chips
We went to Goodberry’s which is a local NC-only chain, but if you’re ever in the Triangle area go get yourself some. It’s soooo good. I got the vanilla custard with chocolate chips mixed in and it tasted like a straight up cup of Oreos. I love fro yo, but sometimes you just need some heavy-duty custard.

Marvelous is… Thai dinner on a Thursday night.

vegetarian thai food cha da thai

Some friends came to my Thursday night Pilates class and we ended up going out to dinner afterwards at Cha Da Thai (their the only Thai restaurant in town so it’s a good thing their food is good!) which was an awesome treat on a weeknight. I think I could eat Thai food any day of the week and be perfectly content.

Funny story is that they served me the completely wrong dish. I actually ordered the Pad Cashew with tofu (Sauteed with tomato-based red sauce, cashews, onion, carrot and bell peppers), but they gave me the Pad Khing Sod with tofu (Stir-fried with fresh ginger sauce, mushroom, onion, bell peppers, baby corn and carrot). Not even close, and I almost sent it back, but I ordered it last time I ate there and I remembered it being delicious so I ate it anyway. It was just as delicious the second time around, even if it wasn’t what I ordered.

Marvelous is… seeing this temperature while driving around town.

70 degree weather

Marvelous doesn’t even begin to describe. I’m so ready for warm weather again.

Marvelous is… That I’ll be at the beach in less than 2 days! It’s supposed to be super cold (like 45 degrees, what?) but I don’t even care. That just means I can spend all day in the aquariums :)

Marvelous is… a much needed yoga class. It’s been too long since I’ve been to one and I can tell my muscles were angry with me for it. The class actually ended up being a Yin-style class which was pretty awesome. Basically you hold poses that require very little  muscular effort for extended periods of time (we held poses for 3-4 minutes) to open up the joints and connective tissues. Wikipedia does a better job of describing it than I do if you want to learn more about the style. It was pretty different from most classes I’ve taken before but it was very peaceful and I really enjoyed it. I did miss my down dogs though.

Marvelous is… I GOT THE INTERNSHIP I INTERVIEWED FOR!!!!!! Excuse me while I squeal like a little girl. But eeeeeee!!! I’m so excited! I will be doing graphic design for the American Dance Festival this summer! It’s pretty much most perfect internship for me and I can’t believe I got it! I actually applied for it last year and didn’t get it, but tried again and it paid off! Cue the excited face:

excited faces

I was in the car on the way home from Boone when they called and told me I got the internship and I pretty much car danced the rest of the way home because I was so excited.

Space Cadet {MIMM}

I hope everyone is having a wonderful Monday. I’ll be honest, mine has been a little rough.

I’ve been a total space cadet today. I even mixed up the bus times for the bus I ride every single day and managed to get to campus 15 minutes after my class was supposed to start. I took that as a sign from the universe that it was okay to take the afternoon off class. I think it was much needed. Luckily my Monday still had some highlights.

(Thanks Katie!)

Marvelous is… Internship applications! I was pretty productive in my afternoon off from class and applied for several internships. Which is good considering I need one this summer to graduate and the only thing I have at the moment is a less-than-promising phone interview from last week. Help me out internship gods.

Marvelous is… Fresh juice! My parents gave me a juicer for Christmas and I finally took it out of the box for a test drive.

homemade beet carrot apple ginger juice

In the mix: 1 beet, 3 small carrots, 0.5 apple and a little bit of ginger. Delicious. Too bad the clean up wasn’t so fun, there has to be a way to make a juicer that is easy to clean. One of my roommates is a product design major and I will get her on that one ASAP.

Marvelous is… Sneaking kale into cupcakes.

banana peanut butter cupcakes

We had an early St. Patty’s Day party, which was actually turned into more of a low key get together, so of course I had to make cupcakes. I look for any excuse possible to make cupcakes. I made these cupcakes which are actually muffins (and grain-free!), but I put frosting on them so that makes them cupcakes. They were less sweet than typical cupcakes but they still got devoured so I don’t think anyone minded. By the way, if you baked that recipe in a loaf pan I bet it would make AMAZING grain-free peanut butter banana bread. I will definitely be trying that out in the future.

For the frosting, I used this frosting:

It was the only frosting in the grocery store without trans-fat so I shelled out $5 for the container. It was more glaze-like than frosting-like, when I bought it I didn’t realize it was allergen-free frosting, I was just desperate for something without trans-fat but it still tasted fine. I added a little cream-cheese to make it some a little more normal and added some sneaky kale juice to dye it green. I added a little too much and things got a little grassy-tasting so in the future I will go for spinach, but kale was just what I happened to have in the fridge.

Marvelous is… It snowing much less than I thought it would. It still snowed for four days straight, which is no bueno, but we only got a couple of inches so I was actually able to leave the apartment. If I get snowed in for another weekend I might go crazy. Where are you spring?

Marvelous is… Dinner and lunch out this weekend. Friday night my roommate and a friend went to Cha Da Thai for a super tasty Thai dinner. I got the Pad Khing Sod with tofu:

Photo0919

Stir-fried with fresh ginger sauce, mushroom, onion, bell peppers, baby corn and carrot. It was pretty good but I will definitely go for curry next time, my love of curry far exceeds my love of ginger. While I was eating this I thinking that it would be awesome to have ginger sauce and curry sauce on the same meal, but my friends thought I was crazy. I’m sorry that I have an unnatural love of curry.

Marvelous is… Espresso News, AKA the best place to get coffee in Boone.

espresso news coffee

They even roast their own beans

espresso news coffee roaster

Amazing.

Marvelous is… Art crawl! One of my roommates had her work in two different galleries and it was really awesome to go see them. She’s seriously talented! You can check out some of her work here.

Marvelous is… My first drink in a bar! I know I am a crazy 21 year old, waiting 10.5 months for my first bar experience. I had a Foothill People’s Porter and it was quite tasty.

Boone Saloon Foothills People's Porter

I usually drink IPAs so this beer was super smooth in comparison and I will definitely be having it again in the future. Not to mention they’re a local brewery (Winston Salem, NC – just 1.5 hours away!), which is always a plus.

Marvelous is… FRO YO! Enough said.

chocolate peanut butter frozen yogurt

Peanut butter and chocolate fro yo topped with Reeses, dark chocolate chips and Nutella. Pure heaven.

Marvelous is… One more week until spring break! In less than a week I’ll be home and in 1.5 weeks I’ll be at the BEACH. So pumped.

Marvelous is… A super sweaty spin class! My knee/calf (I still can’t figure out which body part this issue is with, it feels like it’s right where my calf muscle hits the back of my knee, so I’m not sure it the issue is behind my knee or in my calf) is feeling better, but it still doesn’t feel quite right so I’m being good and spinning instead of running. This is a huge accomplishment for this lady, I’m stubborn and always try to ignore injuries but I’m listening to my body for once. Plus I want to get better so I can get in a good, long run over spring break and go running on the beach!

And finally

Marvelous is…

pilates teacher certification registration

I’m getting certified!!! I decided to go with Balanced Body University and this weekend I’ll be doing the Mat 1 Certification! I’m so excited! My bank account is not excited about it, but I’m looking at it as an investment :)

What made your Monday Marvelous?

Do you have any St. Patty’s Day plans?

What’s your favorite style of cuisine? Thai is definitely pretty high up on the list for me!

Exciting Newsssssssss!!

Sorry for the obnoxious number of S’s but today has been all kinds of exciting. Very fitting for Thankful Thursday!

thankful thursday

Exciting news list time!

  1. My little brothers are 19 today! When did they get so old? Last time I checked they were still 8 years old and now they’re in college, where the heck does the time go?high school graduates
    They may be 19, but that’s okay, they still act like 8 year olds.twin egg yolksSide note, is ironic that I get a egg with twin yolks on my identical twin brothers birthday? I think so. So glad I got them too because they totally made up for the yolk I broke, whoopsies.
  2. My design got picked for a postcard my department is sending out to different Graphic Arts companies inviting them to a job/internship we’re having on campus in March. Whattttt!!! So excited when I found out. People in the industry are going to see my design! Eep! I had a “You like me! You really like me!” moment when I found out and I might have gone to the bathroom to do a little dance. Okay I definitely did!(Shameless self-promotion moment: if you’d like to see some of my design work, my portfolio is here: be.net/lgeddie)
  3. I’m now a Sweat Pink AmbassadorI got the e-mail this afternoon and I’m so excited to join the Sweat Pink Community! I let out an embarrassingly girly high-pitched squeal, luckily my other roommates weren’t there to witness it :)Photobucket
  4. Here is a re-enactment of my expression after finding out all this exciting news:excited faces
    I almost graced you guys with a video of my happy dance but I decided against that internet embarrassment and just stuck with pictures.

Additional exciting things:

  1. An incredibly sweaty spin class! There’s a spin class right before my Pilates class so I decided to check it out and support my fellow group fitness teachers, it was a tough but super fun class. The guy teaching is on the school cycle team so his workout was intense but I loved every second of it!
  2. My Pilates class went really well! Nothing special happened, the class just flowed really well, which always feels good.
  3. I just made some kale chips, they got a little burnt because I was busy watching Glee, but they were still pretty tasty.
  4. I survived my public speaking speech! There were a few rough moments but I made it through and I think I did pretty well!
  5. My apartment is restocked with coffee! FINALLY!

Brag time, what the most exciting news you’ve gotten lately?

Do you have an siblings? I’m the oldest of 3 and my brothers are identical twins.

Tuesday Tangents

I can’t believe it’s only Tuesday, the week already feels crazy long. Since I didn’t get home until almost 10:00 pm (yikes) we’re going for an easy post, tangents it is!

  • Why do I also neglect yoga, I went to a class for the first time in weeks and it felt AMAZING. My body was yelling at me for not going sooner. So worth a skipped run, my muscles feel noodle-y and awesome

    yoga cat meme

  • 24 people came to my Pilates class! I usually get around 15, and there was actually a line waiting for class, which only ever happens for yoga and spin classes. It was a little crazy but the energy was so awesome, I hope everyone comes back next week!
  • I had a Smash Mouth’s “All Star” stuck in my head yesterday. I don’t know where it came from but it was not enjoyable.

    The 90s can keep Smash Mouth, I don’t miss them.

  • The bus driver was rocking out to some Justin Timberlake one the ride home yesterday. Sexy Back was played and I won’t pretend that it wasn’t a little bit awesome

    Oh Appalcart…

  • I’ve down a full jar of sunflower seed butter in 3 days. This is a problem. Mostly for my wallet because that stuff is twice as much as peanut butter. At least it makes my taste buds happy.
  • Today in my public speaking class we had to finish the prompt “If I were in charge of the world…” I talked about how I would make everyone vegetarians. I think I’d be the most unpopular world leader ever.

    I want a shirt with this on it ASAP please.

  • My legs are still tired from Sunday’s 8 mile run. Sad.
  • I realized I’ve been drinking too much coffee today when I couldn’t stop twitching. I’m glad the full-fledged caffeine-addiction is starting early this semester.

     

  • Tomorrow is hump day! Thank goodness.

What are your tangents today?

What’s you’re favorite band from the 90s?

What would you do if you were in charge of the world?

 

Hangry Beast {WIAW}

How is it only Wednesday? This week has been longggggg. Every one of my professors have done this ridiculous thing where they decided to assign homework (what? This is college) on the first day. Yuck.  At least we’re halfway through the week! Just gotta make it through two more days and I’ve got a three day weekend. Hallelujah.

Okay enough complaining, time for food!

Happy What I Ate Wednesday (Thanks Jenn for hosting!)

My eats are a little crazy because I had class all morning, plus a meeting and a Pilates class that evening. I didn’t quite get pictures of everything but I tried!

6:00 AM

Breakfast!

wiaw11_3_1

Hello oats in a jar! A little too early in the morning, but still very tasty and peanut buttery, which is the best part isn’t it?

9:00 AM

wiaw1_13_1

Kale salad with tofu, mushrooms, avocado with a side of sweet potato topped with coconut oil and cinnamon. This was supposed to be my lunch, but I was really hungry so I ate it right after my 8:00 am class. It’s never too early for a little kale!

11:00 AM

wiaw1_13_2

One very tasty but slightly bruised Cortland apple. I’ve never tried this kind of apple before but they were on sale at the grocery store this week and let me tell you, they are quite tasty!

2:00 PM

I had a quick, un-pictured snack of edamame before hitting up the gym for a 3 mile treadmill run. I hate running when I’m hungry, though I think it’s the opposite for most people.

3:30 PM

I meant to pack a Clif bar for a snack but I forgot it so I had to pick up an over priced bar from the campus market.

wiaw1_13_3

I love Luna bars, but I don’t love paying $2 for them. I’m cheap but my tummy is worth it.

4:30 PM

My hunger has been crazy lately (stress? All the extra walking I do on campus? It’s a mystery to me but I’ve been HANGRY lately) so an hour later I was still hungry so I bought exactly $0.71 worth of trail mix from the student union, the cashier actually laughed at me for buying so little but I only had $1 left on me. Story of my broke college life. Kinda.

And I don’t have a picture of the trail mix, but it was mostly peanuts and almonds and not too exciting. But it did help tame the hunger monster a little.

6:45 PM

Not food related, but it was my first Pilates class of the semester! I think it went pretty well and I ran into one of the girls in class today and she said she loved the class and was sore today! I love getting feedback, both good and bad but let’s be honest good is a lot more fun to hear, and it made my day that she enjoyed my class! That’s why I love teaching Pilates.

I also caught a girl instagram-ing a picture of her weights during class. I’m secretly proud of that for some reason :)

8:30 PM

The bus was pulling away just as I got to the bus stop after class so I had to wait an extra 30 minutes for the next one. Hate it when that happens. I didn’t get home until 8:30 and I was super hungry (I’m sensing a theme?) so I didn’t get any pictures, I was too busy stuffing my face, but here’s some recycled photos:

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Two eggs, plus

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Veggies of the frozen and reheated variety finished with

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And I’m pretty sure I had either a snack bar of frozen waffle afterwards but I really can’t remember.

What do you do when you’re hunger is out of control?

What did you eat this Wednesday?

When do you eat lunch? Apparently on Tuesdays I eat it at 9:00, but on Mondays and Wednesday I eat around 11:30 plus snacks later on, lunch time is always when I’m hungriest!

First Last Day {MIMM}

Happy Monday!

Or not so happy Monday. The weather was pretty miserable on the mountain today. Good day for a nap, too bad that didn’t happen.

Don’t worry, there’s still some Marvelous in my Monday, I just had to look for it a little harder.

 

 

(Thanks Katie!)

It was my first last day of college! I have to admit, I’m not at all excited for this semester. I would be pretty okay with being school being done now. I may change my tune in a couple weeks, I think I’m just burnt out on school. My classes weren’t too bad today: dance history, senior seminar and finance, but I’m not super excited about them. But, FOUR MONTHS UNTIL GRADUATION. Yesss.

But I have my public speaking class tomorrow, dun dun dun… I’m scared.

I have lunch breaks! This is exciting because apparently the only time I’m not thinking about food is when I’m setting up my class schedule and I always sign up for classes straight through lunch and end up eating in the hallways in between classes. Now I have time to go back to my apartment and eat a real lunch and watch Paula Deen. Priorities people.

I did some weightlifting! I’m not a fan of leg work (boo lunges) but I did some today and my quads were burning! I just kept reminding myself how good it is for me. And I actually didn’t hate it too much this time around. I still hate lunges though.

20 mile week! I’m pretty sure that’s my highest mileage week ever. Getting to that 10-mile race! And maybe a half marathon… who knows…

Roomie frozen yogurt run! For pretty much the first time ever. We all have crazy schedules so it’s almost impossible to get us all together at once.

froyo1

Strawberry yogurt with strawberries (apparently I had a strawberry hankering Saturday night?), white chocolate chips and GUMMY BEARS. It has been too long since I’ve eaten gummy bears. That my friends is a problem that needs to be solved ASAP.

New student union! App recently added a new wing to our student union and it is SWANKY. I had a club meeting in one of the new rooms and it is sooooo cool. And the new wing means that my Pilates classes will be in an actual group fitness room (they closed it unexpectedly in the middle of last semester because of the construction and I had to teach in a random room that wasn’t at all meant for classes) I’m excited to have a real room back.

student union

Sorry for the creeper pic, but you get the idea

Speaking of Pilates my first class is tomorrow and I get to teach a new class format that uses weights and other equipment. I’m excited! It’s going to be CRAZY with all the resolution-ers and get-in-shape-for-spring-break-ers, but I won’t complain about a big class!

These drawings:

drawing

She spelled my name wrong but that’s okay, good try.

My friends and I go to a bible study class on Sundays and the couple that leads it brings their 8 year old daughter with them. She is very cute and super artsy and drew pictures of us during the class. Too sweet. We also fill out prayer request cards and trade them with another person, I got her card and it was too cute. I love the rainbows and sunshine! She reminds me of myself a little when I was younger.

What made your Monday Marvelous? 

Pilates: The First Four

We’ve gone over the benefits, a little history, principles and form so now it’s time for the good stuff, the moves!

Starting Your Workout

You can start a Pilates workout in one of two ways, you can eager beaver right into The Hundred, or you can starting with a little breath work/centering.

Personally, I’m a fan of the second. I find I enjoy the workout if I take a couple minutes to bring my focus inward, concentrate on my breathing and just de-stress from my day before I hop into some ab work, so that’s what I usually teach. But, it’s perfectly fine jump right into things as long as you’re body is warm. Pilates and cold muscles are a bad mix, actually cold muscles and anything are a bad mix, don’t skip your warm ups.

The Hundred

In classical Pilates, the hundred is always first, it gets the blood circulating, builds some heat and it certainly wakes that core up!

Prepare for The Hundred by lying on your back with your feet planted on the ground and your knees pointed towards the ceiling and your arms stretched out beside you.

Sinking your belly button towards your spine, lift your head and shoulders off the mat, bring your gaze to the navel to prevent strain on the neck. Lift the arms slightly off the ground to either side of you and begin to pump them up and down.

Inhale for five counts and exhale for five counts, repeat 10 times (5+5 x 10=100!)

Modifications:

  • For a greater challenge, bring the knees to a table top position:

    or straighten your legs towards the ceiling:

  • Or if your if hard core you can start to lower the legs towards the floor, making sure your lower back stays glued to the mat.

Reminders

  • Remember to sink your belly button down towards your spine with every exhale
  • Keep the shoulders pulled down the back, don’t let them creep up near the shoulders

The Roll Up

Start laying on your back with your feet planted on your mat and your arms reaching over head, focus on closing the gap between your lower back and the mat, engaging the core and releasing through the quads and hip flexors. Inhale as you slightly lift your head and arms up off the mat bringing your gaze towards your navel, as you exhale roll all the way up to sitting keeping your feet planted on the mat – don’t use momentum.

Once you get to the top inhale as you straighten your legs and your reach the arms towards the ceiling growing tall through the spine, as you exhale fold forwards reaching towards the toes. An inhale brings you back up and exhale as you roll slowly down to your back feeling each vertebrae press into to the mat as you lower down.

Complete 3 to 5 repetitions.

Modifications:

  • For and extra challenge you can straighten your legs as you roll up down, as always remembering that Pilates stance!

Reminders

  • Think about closing the gap between your lower back and the mat at the beginning of each repetition, this will both engage your core and help your lower back.
  • Lower down slowly! The slower you go the harder your core will work.
  • Keep your feet/legs glued to the mat as you roll up, don’t let your legs do the work

Single Leg Circles

Lying on your back with your knees pointed up towards the ceiling, hug one knee in towards your chest.

I like to take a couple of seconds here to rock the leg from side to side before I start the actual exercise to help loosen up through the hip joint, we tend to unknowingly hold a lot of tension in our hips so taking time to loosen things up a little makes the exercise a little more enjoyable.

Extend your leg up towards the ceiling straightening as much as possible and really externally rotation that leg, you want to think about bringing that inner pants seam towards your face. Feel your triceps and shoulders press into the mat as you glue your belly button to your spine.

As you inhale bring the foot across the body and down, exhale and bring the leg straight back up towards your face, making an uppercase D shape with your leg. Complete 3 to 5 repetitions and reverse, inhaling as you lower the leg and exhale as you bring it back up and around.

Modifications

  • For a greater challenge, straighten the bottom leg

  • If you can’t straight your leg all the way, it’s perfectly fine to keep it bent, just be sure you’re still working that Pilates stance
  • You can bring the hands to the hips to help stabilize them

Reminders

  • Really turn out through the working leg, when you let the leg rotate inward the quad starts doing all the work instead of the hip joint.
  • Keep the hips stable through the entire exercise, if you’re having trouble keeping them still, make your movement smaller and trying bringing the hands to the hips.

Rolling Like  A Ball

Rolling Like a Ball is one of several Pilates rolling exercises, which I think are pretty fun.

To start, come to the top edge of your mat, making sure you have enough room behind you to rock back without rocking off your mat. With your feet flat on the floor in front of you, bring the insides of your feet together, leaving the knees just slightly apart. Place your hands on your hamstring and lean back until it feels as if you’re hanging on your hamstrings, bring a deep C-curve into your back.

Slowly walk your feet back until you find a balancing point on your sacrum, the wide, flat bone at the base of your spine, NOT your tail bone (ouch!).

As you inhale lean back and rock to the tips of your shoulder blades, exhale as you rock back up to your balancing point.

Complete 6 repetitions.

Modifications

  • You can place your hands on top of your shins for a little bit more of a balance challenge

Reminders

  • Only rock back to the tips of your should blades, DO NOT roll back on to your neck, bad things could happen.
  • Keep your elbows parallel to the ground, don’t let them droop towards your sides.
  • Try not to use momentum as you rock up, think about scooping the belly as you exhale to engage your core and use your core strength to bring up back up.
  • Make sure you keep a really deep C-curve in your back, it will help protect it and give you a nice little massage as you rock back and forth!

Disclaimer: I’m not a certified Pilates or group fitness instructor (though I hope to be soon!), though I have done training through my university it was not certified training. Please check with your doctor before beginning or changing your fitness routine.

MIMM: Sweet Thanksgiving Freedom & A Little Yoga

Whew, today has been a busy day! Which is funny considering all my classes for the day were classes. Funny how that works.

Despite my Monday being a little crazy it has been pretty marvelous!

Thanks again to Katie for hosting every week!

Things making my Monday Marvelous:

  • No class! Redundant, but that always makes for a good day! Unfortunately I still had to take an online exam, but I think I did well on it, which makes that marvelous too!
  • This weekend’s Friendsgiving and my roommate’s birthday! And the amazing flourless chocolate cupcake recipe I made this weekend, too easy and too delicious, a dangerous combination. More on both of those tomorrow!

  • I got to teach a yoga class! It was the first yoga class I’ve ever taught and I think it went really well. Even though I’m not a yoga instructor I’m on the sub list and they needed someone last minute and I was happy to help! I really enjoyed and hopefully the people in class did too (all two of them, it was a hoppin’ class!). I’ve been thinking about doing yoga teacher training sometime after I graduate, but I haven’t decided yet, so we shall see…

 

  • And I had a good crowd come to my Pilates class, it was good day for teaching group fitness!

 

  • GINGERBREAD CLIF BARS! Nope I’m not excited about those at all.

So tasty.

  • I’m starting week 3 of my 10-miler training plan, my runs have been really good lately even though they’ve all been on the dreadmill and I’m hoping they stay good. Though we’ll see what happens when it’s snowing out and I have a 5+ mile run on the schedule…

  • I’m headed home tomorrow for Thanksgiving! Only one class stands between me and sweet Thanksgiving freedom. Well, and some silly little details like the fact I haven’t packed anything yet

Happy almost turkey tofurkey day!

What made your Monday Marvelous?

What are your Thanksgiving plans? We’re going to my grandfather’s in South Carolina!

Pilates: Principles, & Form

Hey guys, I hoped you enjoyed learning about Pilates last week, and if not… well that’s awkward because I’m back this week with more! This week I’m tackling principles and form. I promise I’m getting to the good stuff (aka the actual exercises) soon!

Principles

Pilates has 6 basic principles all of the exercises are based around. These principles are important to keep in mind while your practicing Pilates to get the most every class.

  1. Concentration – In Pilates, concentration is important in connecting your mind and body. Stay present and be aware of the sensations in your body and how your muscles are moving. Also when you focus on a certain muscle or muscle group, you can feel that area of the body working so much more than when you aren’t focus on a certain area.
  2. Control – Unlike some other forms of fitness, Pilates really centers around control. Most exercises are done slowly and it’s actually preferred to perform an exercise slowly and with control, than it is to do the exercise as fast as possible.

    I guess you could say she’s got a little control
    (source)

  3. Center – All Pilates movements are initiated from the core, or the center of the body. The muscles in our center, also referred to as the “powerhouse” (how awesome of a name is that?), includes the abdominal muscles, the lower back, hips and glutes. And we already know the benefits of a strong core, right? Good.
  4. Fluidity – exercises are done in a fluid motion, without the choppiness you usually see in cardio-based classes. And let me tell you, fluid movements are no joke, they can burrnnn.
  5. Precision  – Precision is so key in Pilates and something I really  try to emphasize in my classes. It’s so much better to do a tiny movement or  lay your head back down on the mat than to compromise form. Doing exercises incorrectly (in any form of exercise, not just Pilates) doesn’t help improve your fitness and can set you up for injury. Can’t do a movement right away? It’s okay, do what you can and keep at it. If you work hard you will get there!
  6. Breath - Some people have this thing where they don’t like to breathe. Don’t do that, your body likes oxygen. The breathing in Pilates might be a little funny (I’ll go over that one in a second) but it’s helpful! It helps you engage those deep abdominal muscles, it’s stress relieving and detoxifying so do it!

    Yeah… don’t do that.
    (source)

Form

I wanted to spend sometime going over proper form because it’s a little different from other types of movement, and it’s really important for getting an effective Pilates workout.

Core Engagement

This is a big one. You should maintain an engaged core throughout the entire workout, it helps protect your lower back from injury and makes the movements much more effective. There are a couple ways I like to think about this engagement:

  • I had one dance teacher who used to tell us to pretend we’re buckling a life jacket:

    Yay core engagement!
    (source)

    Think about flattening through the front of the ribcage (when you have a life jacket on it’s hard to poke the ribs out) so they’re not sticking out, flattening through the front of the ribcage should cause you to engage your core

  • You can also think about lengthening through the low back. Think about lengthening down through the tailbone, but don’t tuck it. Focusing on the length of your low back and relaxing through the glutes should help you engage the core

So basically don’t let your ribcage or booty stick out, and that should automatically engage the core muscles.

Sinking the Belly Button

Sinking the belly button kind of goes along with core engagement but I wanted to talk about it separately. There are many Pilates exercises (the ab series in particular) that are done laying on the back. When you’re doing an exercise on your back, you want to try to sink the belly button down in to the ground. Thinking about sinking the belly button will help keep your low back glued to the mat throughout the exercise which is super important in protecting the low back.

You can also think about sinking or scooping the belly button even when you’re not doing an exercise on your back and it will help keep that core engage!

Pilates Stance

Pilates stance is probably one of the more unusual form cues in Pilates. If you’ve done ballet for any amount of time it will probably come naturally, but if not it probably feels a little funny.

Pilates stance is an outward rotation of the legs. This rotation should start at the hip (not the knees! That can cause knee issues), think about rotating your inner thighs forward.

To find your Pilates stance (it will be different for everyone based on the hip flexibility and mobility) lay flat on your back (you’ve got the belly button sinking towards the ground right? good) with your legs extended towards the ceiling. Think about rotating the inner seam of your pants towards your face. You can also find it when standing by bring the feet parallel so the insides of the feet are touching, bring a bend in to the knees and from the hips, rotate the legs outward, it might not be far, but that’s okay, focus on the rotation initiating from the hip.

If you don’t have a lot of flexibility you may not be able to keep your legs straight through different exercises, however t it’s still important to keep your legs rotated outward in Pilates stance even if your legs are bent (unless otherwise specified).

Thanks for hanging in there through all the basics with me! I promise next week we’ll start tackling the actual exercises. I just want to set up a good foundation because it’s important!

Disclaimer: I’m not a certified Pilates or group fitness instructor (though I hope to be soon!), though I have done training through my university it was not certified training. Please check with your doctor before beginning or changing your fitness routine.

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