Free On-line Yoga Video I Do To Relieve Back Pain & Relax – Beginners Level


(Feeling good and relaxed after a much needed yoga class)

During my pregnancy, I did not have back pain. Fortunately, I had a good and pretty easy pregnancy, without complications. Fast forward two plus years and I have been carrying around a baby, now a toddler, every day. I carry her a Continue reading

Learning to Meditate: Clearing My Mind Before Going to Sleep

Hi friends,

Learning new things and about other cultures is fascinating to me. I believe in personal growth and continuous improvement. Over the past years, I have learned from my experiences, and have become a more positive, balanced, and reflective person. Guess it comes with age – and experiences (good and bad experiences). To a certain degree, I have also become a calmer person, a more understanding and accepting person. I work everyday on trying to be appreciative and demonstrate gratitude for the many blessings I have, to let go of the things I cannot control or change. In the past few years, I have adopted the motto, “As long as someone is not hurting me or affecting me (or a loved one/others) in a negative way, then I just let it be and focus on the positive things in my life.” I can only control my words and actions, not those of others. Life is short, I try to enjoy it and am trying to live in the moment, which can be hard to do with my type A personality.

In the past, I have practiced yoga and found it to be relaxing. Lately, I have had so much on my mind and find it challenging to turn off my thoughts even during yoga. My thoughts just enter my mind a thousand miles a minute, making it difficult to get into my “yoga relaxation zone.” Sometimes, it is exhausting to have so much on my mind. Exercise and yoga have always helped me de-stress, and I am hoping to get back to that place soon – where I can clear my mind and make the best decisions.

I had read about meditation before and have been reading more about it in the past few weeks. I have become very interested in the subject and am trying to learn how to meditate. The first meditation technique I learned during a class was from Brooke Bunge, yoga instructor, at Calistoga Ranch. Brooke told me to relax in a comfortable position, focus on my breathing, and either to repeat a word of choice or to count my breaths. By word of choice, she meant a word that applied to the moment, if I wanted to relax to repeat that word, if I wanted change to repeat that word, if I wanted clarity, to repeat it, you get the drift.

Since we returned from Calistoga, I have tried to meditate every night before I go to sleep. I start by laying on my back (in bed) in a comfortable position, then repeat the word “peace.” Or, if I have had a very hectic day, I repeat “relax”over and over. I place my hands on stomach so I can feel the breathing and be aware of it. I start with deep breathes and then gradually more relaxing breathes. Many thoughts drift through my mind (mostly my “to do” list, or things that happened during the day, or thoughts of things that are months away), I just try to keep repeating the word and visualizing what “relax” represents for me. At some point, when I am ready to go to sleep, I turn on my side because I can’t sleep on my back. Then, before I know it, I feel relaxed and fall asleep without the hundreds of thought continuing in my mind.

I have also tried meditating at the gym as part of my cool down after exercising. I’ll share more about what seemed like loooong 10 minutes of meditation in one of my next posts. I have also found some interesting materials to read and a meditation that will be done globally. Oprah will also be hosting a free 21-day Meditation Experience, along with Deepok Chopra. I signed up for both. I’ll write about these soon!

Have you meditated? What do you think of meditation?




Tricks to Motivate Myself to Exercise: Tip #3

Hi friends , Happy Saturday – hope you are enjoying your day! This is the third tip from the series Tricks to Motivate Myself to Exercise. Hopefully you are liking the series. If you have tips that work for you , share them below!



Trick #3: Find a Workout Class You Like

yoga stretch july 82013

Exercise classes are a wonderful and fun way to exercise! I go to a few 24 Hour Fitness gyms, either close to work or home. I periodically print out the class schedules and highlight my favorite classes: Zumba & Yoga. I keep them in a special red folder in a file cabinet at my desk at work and in the glove compartment of my car. This may seem a bit much, but hey, it works for me. I have so much on my mind, it helps to have the schedules handy when I want to look up a class to attend. I also add the classes that I am most likely to attend on my Outlook electronic schedule (I easily have access to the schedule from my cel phone). I add classes that are held on weekday evenings for the gyms close to work. I add a few options because I don’t always leave work at the same time, if I miss the first evening class, I know an hour later there is another class available. I add classes held on weekend for the gyms which are close to home. It helps me remember the times and locations the classes are held at.

Attending classes I like makes it fun to exercise. I know with Zumba, I will dance and enjoy the music! I’ll break a sweat, get lots of cardio, and always leave with a smile and feeling great! With yoga, I know I will stretch and balance, and always leave feeling relaxed. I’ve also become familiar with some of the instructors and have my favorite classes.

Do you have any favorite classes you attend?




This picture was taken as I was leaving the gym after a Zumba class! After a long day at work, a Zumba class makes me feel good & even re-energized! I get my endorphins going & feel great!



Estrategias para Motivarte a Hacer Ejercicio: #3 Clases de Ejercicio Que Te Gusten

¡Las clases de ejercicio son una manera divertida y buena de hacer ejercicio! Yo voy a los gimnasios 24 Hour Fitness que están cerca de mi casa y del trabajo. Periódicamente imprimo los horarios de las clases de ejercicio y marco mis favoritas: Zumba y Yoga. Mantengo los horarios en un folder en mi oficina y en la gauntera de mi carro. Quizás parezca demasiado tenerlos en dos lugares, pero a mi me funciona. Tengo una agenda ocupada y muchas cosas en la mente, así que me ayuda tener los horarios de las clases a la mano cuando quiero ver las opciones disponibles.

También agrego las clases a las cuales es mas probable que vaya en mi calendario electrónico. De esta manera tengo acceso al horario por medio de mi celular. Agrego clases que se llevan a cabo en las tardes en los gimnasios que quedan cerca del trabajo. Agrego clases que se llevan a cabo los fines de semana en gimnasios que quedan cerca de mi casa. Esto me ayuda bastante, son recordatorios de donde y a que hora son las clases, y me ayuda a organizar mi día de tal manera que logro acomodar el tiempo para hacer ejercicio.

¡Tomar clases que nos gustan hace que el ejercicio sea divertido! Se que con Zumba bailaré y disfrutaré la música. Voy a sudar, haré cardio, y siempre salgo con una sonrisa y sintiéndome excelente! Con Yoga, se que me estiraré y haré ejercicios de equilibrio, salgo sintiéndome relajada.

¿Vas a alguna clase de ejercicio? Cual es tu favorita?

Un abrazo,

Enjoying Yoga

yoga stretch july 82013

For those of you that have followed me on Facebook the past few years, you are aware that I enjoy exercising. It is a part of my lifestyle. I have taken yoga classes before, then stopped for about a year. I was doing cardio workouts, mostly Zumba and speed walking. Recently, I found a yoga class at the gym that I like. It is not too hard, I find it relaxing, it includes simple poses, lots of stretches, observing your breathing, and just the right amount of challenge. I would usually pass on yoga for a class that would burn more calories. I looked up the info recently and you only burn about 200 calories in one hour of light yoga, which is not very high, but the health benefits are good. I have taken yoga once a week for the past two months, and I am really starting to appreciate it and look forward to the class. Yoga helps me de-stress, I really try to clear my mind, which is not easy for me to do. I was so relaxed towards the end of the class today that I felt I was dosing off a bit (ok, I was also a bit tired, haha).

One of the main reasons I like yoga is the awareness it helps create of our muscles, organs, and the importance of stretching and of breathing with intention. Have you noticed that unless you are exercising, you don’t really stretch throughout the day or take a breath with intention, let alone an exhale with intention? I try to stretch daily. I see our kitties stretch throughout the day. As humans, we go about our busy days and don’t stretch, resulting in tension and stress. According to, yoga is a mind-body practice that combines stretching exercises with controlled breathing and relaxation. Yoga can help reduce stress and anxiety, lower blood pressure, and improve heart function. It can help improve your fitness through flexibility, balance, and strength.

So, if you want to de-stress and improve your fitness (who doesn’t?), you may want to give yoga a try. Don’t worry about the poses, you will learn those in time. You can go at your own pace and challenge yourself at your own level (don’t overdo it at the first class). If you are not a member at a gym or go to a yoga studio, perhaps try your local YMCA or community center. Many cities or local schools offer yoga classes for free or at a minimal cost. You can also buy a yoga video and try doing it at home.

Do you take a yoga class regularly? Or practice yoga on your own? Which is your favorite yoga pose? Share your comments about yoga.

Hugs….or in this case “namaste” my friends,