Move It Monday: PiYo Edition

My love for working out and teaching crossed over a few years ago when I became a certified Spinning instructor. I have loved teaching Spinning classes for the last four years at various gyms, but last December I added another certification to my resume…that of a PiYo LIVE instructor.

So what is PiYo? Well the name starts to give it away…it is a sort of a cross between Pilates and Yoga…if you are familiar with either of those classes, you might recognize some of the moves. BUT, PiYo is NOT Pilates or Yoga…it’s completely its own. It’s a fast-paced, low impact workout that combines cardio and strength training while just using your body weight! It is perfect for someone like me who loves to do high-impact activities like running. Sometimes you just need to slow it down and stretch it out! Each song focuses on a different part of your body…lower body, full body fusion, core…we do it all in just an hour. I love PiYo because it is choreographed and the music is catchy so everyone in the class really gets into it! I wrote more about PiYo here, but today I want to share with you a few of my favorite poses from the round I am currently teaching.

– ONE –

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Yoga friends…do you recognize down dog? I love this pose because I can feel the stretch all the way down the back of my legs. My pose is getting better…it can be difficult to do down dog correctly. It’s so easy to put a ton of pressure on your wrists! I have been working on pushing my weight back and sharing that same technique with my class. We are all improving. 😉

Because PiYo likes to shake things up, check out this variation of down dog…

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…my elbows are bent and I’m doing a small push up in down dog position. My hands have moved into a triangle…thumbs and pointer fingers touching.

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Then I raise back up to regular down dog. We do these pushups in sets of 8. They are a killer. 🙂

– TWO –

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Can I hire one of you to be my photographer? 😉 Still in the same position, now I am in single leg down dog. This really tests your flexibility and balance!

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It feels great to go from single leg down dog to a low lunge. The low lunge stretches your hips, quads, and glutes, and kind of bringing your equilibrium back after being upside down in single leg down dog! At least that’s how it feels for me. I feel grounded here. 🙂

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You can make the low lunge even better by opening the arm and chest. Stretching all the muscles! In either of these low lunge poses, you have the option of dropping your other leg down so that you are on your knee. The point of the low lunge is simply to stretch…so if it feels better to have your other leg on the ground, that’s what you should do. The power of PiYo: making it work for you. 😉

– THREE –

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A table top position works our core. Why do you need a strong core? Well, a six pack would be nice;) But with strong abdominal muscles, you’re taking pressure off your lower back, making your posture better, and even making everyday tasks like lifting a lot easier. Right now in class, we are doing a lot of core work with each leg raised. We pulse the bent leg up, pull it down and up, bend it straight out and back in, and pulse the straight leg up. Once we have done all of that, it feels great to get into modified pigeon:

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Pigeon pose…or modified pigeon pose…is a really common stretch for runners. Lots of tension can build up in the hips, so this is a great way to loosen it all up.

– FOUR –

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Finally, we have modified mermaid. Here, you sit with your legs in a kind of “star position”. One leg is bent in front of you and the other leg is bent behind you. In PiYo, we plant one hand down on our side and reach up and over. This will help you stretch your hip flexors and lower back and really help you open your chest and shoulders.

So, what do you think of PiYo? Have you ever taken a class? Will you search for a class near you? You definitely should! Get your body moving this Monday 🙂

10 on 10: March 2015

When I lay in bed at night, I replay my day in my head. What went right? What went wrong? Did anything especially important happen? What am I doing tomorrow? I’m sure we all have our own form of personal reflection, and in those moments, we really do remember how we felt, where we went, what we wore, who we interacted with…but as the days go by, the details fade and you really only remember the big events. Last weekend, I was crossing days off my training chart a few days late and I could not for the life of me remember what workout I completed on Thursday. I couldn’t even remember what I did on Thursday! I knew that I had class in the evening and I came home to watch Scandal, but everything before that was blank. It was probably like any other day. Wake up, workout, eat food, do homework, go to work, go to class…but since nothing earth-shattering happened last Thursday (thank goodness), the details had faded.

I have been reading Mel’s blog for about a year and I love her posts of the tenth of each month when she shares random bits from her day! It’s the little moments that will be the most fun to look back on. I’m linking up with Rebekah to find beauty in the ordinary. 🙂

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Wearing florals because spring! I wanted to wear my nude flats but my feet have not adjusted to the flats life yet. I wore a new pair yesterday that are CRAZY comfy, but after being in boots all winter, my feet need to adjust. I do this with flip flops too. It’s weird and silly and requires me to ruin outfits such as these with Toms but a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do.

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Not the prettiest picture…but worth remembering because I go through phases with meals. I don’t have a breakfast rotation…when I find something I like, I LIKE it. For a long time, I ate a scrambled egg with cheese on an Everything Bagel Thin and a Danimals drinkable yogurt (yes, I know I’m 23) for breakfast. Then I got creative and ate scrambled eggs with PB and banana. Next, the obsession was oatmeal with PB, cinnamon, chocolate chips, and banana. To add a little nutritional value back into my breakfast (read: protein), I started adding protein powder to my oats. The above photo shows you apple cinnamon oatmeal 🙂 Oats, milk, vanilla protein powder, cinnamon, and steamed apples. Current everyday breakfast.

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The Vera bag of pain. You will find my laptop, my iPad, my books for class, my notebook for teaching at the gym, electronic device chargers, gym clothes, lunch, dinner, and snacks. I’m gone on Tuesday from 10 AM to 10 PM!

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I like to study in a clean environment. My environment was clean, but my desk was not. In other news, I think I got a decent grade on my midterm. 😉

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And even if I didn’t get a decent grade, at least my Dad believes in me. Hahaha

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Don’t mess with me and my bag. And yoga mat. And umbrella.

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It rained for approximately twelve hours today. BYE WINTER!

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Walking in the rain. My favorite umbrella is missing. Target saved the day. Late. Wet. Rain boot didn’t do its job.

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36 wonderful people came to PiYo class!

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Frozen Shakeology and Pretty Little Liars with my roommate to end the day. 🙂

Friday Favorites

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 Linking up with Andrea, Erika, and Narci for Friday Favorites!

This makes me laugh…

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Teaching PiYo is a definite favorite of mine! A few weeks ago, I taught at an event called “Get Pumped, Get Sculpted, Get Shaking”, which showcased some of the new routines and classes offered at the gym this semester. There were almost 60 people in the room and I had to teach on that little stage! I swear up close it looked like a ping pong table. I didn’t fall off, luckily;)

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                        Photo credit UMD CRS 2015

One of my favorite views this week…

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What is better than sunshine at 7 AM in the middle of winter? #thelittlethings

On Wednesday, I got my favorite email of all time…I HAD MAIL!

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Just slightly obsessed with peanut butter and jelly. And I don’t care who knows it. Thanks Mom:)

Later that night, I met up with my favorite group of people and we ran the National Mall aka the best running spot in D.C. in my opinion. It’s always so pretty and always makes me feel so lucky to live here!

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#somuchreflection #runnerproblems #ihatemyglasses

I LOVE THESE PEOPLE but the only thing I see when I look at this picture is my glasses. I do not like them but I was too lazy to put contacts in yesterday. That is quite ironic because I wore glasses from the age of 7 until approximately July of last summer. I have had contacts for less than a year and I already think I look so strange without them! You can hardly see me because of all my pretty friends, so it’s okay;)

After our run (which was actually pretty fast even though we had such a large group!), we ate dinner at Qdoba and talked about our word of the week: patience. And I got a parking ticket for $100. Thank you District of Columbia. That part was not so fun, but between running with my friends and talking to my best friend from home on the phone for two hours (no, your eyes did not deceive you), Wednesday was pretty darn good!

On the note of patience…this verse came up in my quiet time this week and I just love it. I am working my way through Jesus Calling and some verses stick with me more than others! This one is one that I thought about for a few days so it’s definitely a favorite. I am not so good at memorizing Bible verses but this is a good one!

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I am constantly writing, highlighting, or pinning quotes. I love how they seem to explain everything perfectly sometimes! So, thanks to Pinterest, I found this gem. I was reminded there is a difference between being patient and being passive!

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Read the blog post here!

Thursday started off on the most amazing note ever…snow delay!

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Read: no morning responsibilities. Aka: sleep in, eat breakfast in bed, and love. my. life. Our delay started as “university opening at 11 AM” and changed to “university opening at 12:30 PM”. I say if it’s afternoon we should just skip the whole day;)

My favorite day of the week is not Friday or Saturday or Sunday. It’s Thursday. In middle school, my friends and I declared it “Feel Good Thursday” and we even had a theme song.

We were silly teenage girls;)

Anyway, years later, I still have a love affair with Thursday. Which is odd because my schedule is usually still packed full and BUSY! But there is just something happy and exciting about knowing that the weekend is right around the corner. I liken it to the anticipation and cheerfulness that everyone feels right before Christmas Eve. Seriously. Such a little detail, but it will always be the best day of the week. 🙂

In food news…because don’t I always have food news…my roommate decided to be adventurous and cook eggplant parmesan. My favorite foods all in the same dish. Vegetables, cheese, sauce…the very best dinner.

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This weekend, I will be spending all of my time at the gym for the Southeast Collegiate Fitness Expo. That’s a mouthful;) I have to go because the University of Maryland is hosting the expo and since I’m a fitness instructor, I have to help represent our school well. 🙂 But I actually can’t wait to go to all the seminars! Healthy living, nutrition, fitness…it’s going to be so fun! #gymnerd

Happy Friday, friends!

What are you doing this weekend?!