Mind & Body by Samantha Nichole

Mind & Body by Samantha Nichole

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Review of Cassandra Clare’s The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones


By: S.N. Hawley

Demons, demon hunters, vampires, werewolves, warlocks, and the constant battle between semi-good-ish and evil-ish. Cassandra Clare’s first book in her series The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones is a thrilling, easy-read sci-fi romance novel that incorporates all the mystical properties of folklore mixed with a Star Wars storyline of family origin confusion. The novel was dry in the beginning but transformed into a juicy and irresistible read in the end.

Although the beginning of the novel was hard for me to get into, once I reached the middle I simply couldn’t put it down. I dove into bloody battles and the confused mind of a 15 year-old girl who is in love with two men—rather, she thinks she is in love, but is not so sure. I was driven to finish the novel, and I did so within a day, but I was left hanging on the last page thinking, “What the…? Well, great, now I have to read the next one.”

If you’re the type of person who enjoys an easy read with supernatural qualities and romantic twists, then this novel is for you. Demonic properties, battling, and love are the three main themes I gathered. I only hope that the series continues to become even more thrilling and exciting throughout the next couple novels.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Yummmm! Banana Shake & Cookies

I’m a very busy person, so I don’t always have time to make myself healthy snacks. However, I have mastered one snack that takes about two minutes to make, and it’s perfect for in the morning, evening, after work, before a workout, or post-workout. The oh-so-simple homemade banana shake prepared in my amazingly-awesome blender.


All I did was break apart two bananas, add about one and a half cups of skim milk into the blender, along with four large pieces of ice. I crushed the ice and mixed the content and voilĂ ! I have a quick shake (for here or to go), and it’s healthy. Plus, it costs the equivalent of 23 cents (rough guesstimate.)



Self Magazine, one of my favorite magazines of the health and wellness genre, provided me with some nutritional data on bananas. One cup of mashed bananas (I added about a cup and a half to two cups) is equal to one gram of fat, 2mg of sodium, 51g of carbohydrates, 6 grams of fiber, 28 grams of sodium, and 2 grams of protein. Add that in with about one cup or two cups of skim milk (5mg of cholesterol, 8 grams of protein, yahtta-yahtta-yahtta) and you have yourself a healthy and quick shake. You can also add other ingredients, but be careful of what you add—you want to keep the shake healthy! Happy shake making! Drinking this makes up for these delicious chocolate chip cookies I’m making right now…doesn’t it?


XOXO
Samantha Nichole

Friday, October 14, 2011

Mind-Body Connection

It is my belief that everything people do is mind-body related. When we breathe, our brain is thinking about the physical act of breathing. When we speak, our mouths are moving while our brain is working. For this blog post, I would like to share with you my most-prominent mind-body connection: my career. Teaching, training, and helping people; my statement and philosophy of what I do and what I wish to accomplish. I could simply write a blog post about various exercises you can do to improve your stamina, strength, etc., but today I would like to focus on the mind. So, here I am. This is me:

Coaching a dance team of 14 diverse and energetic college-age women is not an easy feat, but the reward of simply being a coach is astonishing. I have the rare opportunity to instill confidence in young women by helping them achieve their goals and by being a mentor on-and-off the dance floor. These skills are essential for success in the workplace--and in any field.

In addition to being a coach, I am also a part-time Academic Assistant for Alverno College; I specialize in Professional Communication, and for the courses I tutor my focus is in the Adobe Suites and iMovie. I work with students of all ages and backgrounds one-on-one and in groups to help them successfully complete their courses while achieving an in-depth understanding of the material.

Furthermore, I am a graduate student at Alverno studying for an M.A. in Adult Education. I fell in love with teaching when I fell in love with learning, and not matter where my professional career takes me, I am confident that I will be challenged cognitively. For me, a career is a way of life--it is not simply a job. My work does not end when I leave at the end of the day; there will always be more people to help and inspire.

Each of these aspects of my life make me who I am. I am engaged in my education and helping others achieve an education.

Questions to think about:
What are you doing? What are your goals? Who inspires you, and how can you make a difference?

If you would like more information about the Alverno College Dance Team, here is the blog site:
www.alvernodanceteam.blogspot.com

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Stretching for Dance

Here is an awesome resource regarding stretching techniques for dance. It's simply called Stretching for Dance (Matthew Wyon, Ph.D., Research Centre for Sport, Exercise and Performance, University of Wolverhampton, Jerwood Centre for the Prevention and Treatment of Dance Injuries, and Birmingham Royal Ballet, Birmingham, UK). Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Workout Journal

Quote of the Day:

"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind." Dr Seuss

(And now to the article)


Hey readers! Sometimes finding motivation to exercise can be tough, so what I have been doing lately is this: I play games. Swimming in the pool with beach ball throwing, walking excessively, lifting things at work, etc. I will take you through my “workouts” that most people wouldn’t even consider a workout. However, I was sweating—a lot—and my heart rate increased. I was hungry afterward! These were workouts. Fo sho...

Friday: Bikram Yoga

Okay, so this is actually going somewhere and actively working out. But, despite the intense heat of the room, I am always concentrating on doing something better, such as improving a forward heel stretch or opening my hips.

Saturday: Swimming and walking around Summerfest!

In the morning I woke up and took a nap by the pool. I jumped in, treaded water on-and-off for about thirty minutes, and I walked back to my apartment. I spent three hours walking around Summerfest and the rest of the time I was sitting, waiting for my favorite bands to play.

Sunday: (Same as Saturday) Swimming and walking around Summerfest Again!

Same thing; treaded water, walked around, went home.

Monday: First Day of Work

I sort aluminum ends and re-bag the ends. Each sleeve full of ends weighs about eight pounds. I lifted sleeves every five-to-seven minutes for a total of seven hours (I had an eight hour day, but I took out the hour for my breaks.)

Tuesday: Second Day of Work

Same!

Some people wouldn’t even dream that their everyday activities can be considered working out. Well, they can! Next time you are on your way to the third floor of the building you work in, take the stairs; on a nice day, park your car in the back of the grocery store parking lot—saving space for elderly people to park closer, and giving you more exercise. Think about any little way you can get some exercise in because, God knows, we don’t always have an hour or two after or before work to hit the gym.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Head Coach!

I have some awesome news...I am now the head coach of the Alverno College Dance Team! I am so excited. From what I hear, these ladies are in need of a dedicated coach with a balance between pushing the team to get better and having fun. I'm confident I can do that for them; I am looking forward to this experience.

I am strongly considering starting a blog specifically for the dance team. Definitely a Facebook and Twitter site to gain awareness of the team. We will see!

Love,
Samantha Nichole

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Thank You - Alverno College

In short, this is why education means so much to me. Food for thought. CLICK HERE

Friday, July 1, 2011

From Fitness Magazine (July/August Issue)

Wanted to share this with you. It looks difficult!


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Relaxation Techniques

I have always been a firm believer in the fact that relaxation is essential to one's health and wellness overall. Check out this article from MayoClinic.com

I copied and pasted this article from Mayo Clinic. Click on "MayoClinic.com" above to reach the full article.

Relaxation techniques: Try these steps to reduce stress

Relaxation techniques can reduce stress symptoms and help you enjoy a better quality of life, especially if you have an illness. Explore relaxation techniques you can do by yourself.

By Mayo Clinic staff

Relaxation techniques are a great way to help with stress management. Relaxation isn't just about peace of mind or enjoying a hobby. Relaxation is a process that decreases the effects of stress on your mind and body. Relaxation techniques can help you cope with everyday stress and with stress related to various health problems, such as cancer and pain.

Whether your stress is spiraling out of control or you've already got it tamed, you can benefit from learning relaxation techniques. Learning basic relaxation techniques is easy. Relaxation techniques also are often free or low cost, pose little risk and can be done just about anywhere. Explore these simple relaxation techniques and get started on de-stressing your life and improving your health.

The benefits of relaxation techniques

When faced with numerous responsibilities and tasks or the demands of an illness, relaxation techniques may take a back seat in your life. But that means you might miss out on the health benefits of relaxation.

Practicing relaxation techniques can reduce stress symptoms by:

Slowing your heart rate

Lowering blood pressure

Slowing your breathing rate

Increasing blood flow to major muscles

Reducing muscle tension and chronic pain

Improving concentration

Reducing anger and frustration

Boosting confidence to handle problems

To get the most benefit, use relaxation techniques along with other positive coping methods, such as exercising, getting enough sleep, and reaching out to supportive family and friends.

Types of relaxation techniques

Health professionals such as complementary and alternative medicine practitioners, doctors and psychotherapists can teach various relaxation techniques. But if you prefer, you also can learn some relaxation techniques on your own.

In general, relaxation techniques involve refocusing your attention on something calming and increasing awareness of your body. It doesn't matter which relaxation technique you choose. What matters is that you try to practice relaxation regularly to reap its benefits.

There are several main types of relaxation techniques, including:

Autogenic relaxation. Autogenic means something that comes from within you. In this relaxation technique, you use both visual imagery and body awareness to reduce stress. You repeat words or suggestions in your mind to relax and reduce muscle tension. For example, you may imagine a peaceful setting and then focus on controlled, relaxing breathing, slowing your heart rate, or feeling different physical sensations, such as relaxing each arm or leg one by one.

Progressive muscle relaxation. In this relaxation technique, you focus on slowly tensing and then relaxing each muscle group. This helps you focus on the difference between muscle tension and relaxation. You become more aware of physical sensations. One method of progressive muscle relaxation is to start by tensing and relaxing the muscles in your toes and progressively working your way up to your neck and head. You can also start with your head and neck and work down to your toes. Tense your muscles for at least five seconds and then relax for 30 seconds, and repeat.

Visualization. In this relaxation technique, you form mental images to take a visual journey to a peaceful, calming place or situation. During visualization, try to use as many senses as you can, including smell, sight, sound and touch. If you imagine relaxing at the ocean, for instance, think about such things as the smell of salt water, the sound of crashing waves and the warmth of the sun on your body. You may want to close your eyes, sit in a quiet spot and loosen any tight clothing.

Other common relaxation techniques include:

Hypnosis

Massage

Meditation

Tai chi

Yoga

Relaxation techniques take practice

As you learn relaxation techniques, you'll become more aware of muscle tension and other physical sensations of stress. Once you know what the stress response feels like, you can make a conscious effort to practice a relaxation technique the moment you start to feel stress symptoms. This can prevent stress from spiraling out of control.

Remember that relaxation techniques are skills. And as with any skill, your ability to relax improves with practice. Be patient with yourself — don't let your effort to practice relaxation techniques become yet another stressor. If one relaxation technique doesn't work for you, try another. If none of your efforts at stress reduction seem to work, talk to your doctor about other options.

Also, bear in mind that some people, especially those with serious psychological issues and a history of abuse, may experience feelings of emotional discomfort during some relaxation techniques. Although this is rare, if you experience emotional discomfort during relaxation techniques, stop what you're doing and consider talking to your health care professional or mental health provider.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Dance Team: Real Dancing

There are two things I love: dancing and choreographing. I am a visual artist--I represent feelings and emotions through dancing. My feelings may be slightly innapropriate at times, but the message is displayed accurately, nevertheless.

Being a part of a dance team is a a skillful art, though many solely-studio dancers may squint at the idea. One must be flexible (no pun intended) with other members of the team, and still display their own individuality while dancing to the same choreography as the person next to them. It's not easy, and it is creative; thus, it is art. Thus, it is "real" dancing.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Mind & Body on Facebook

Did you know Mind & Body has a Facebook fan page? Did you also know that there are discussions posted that can help you improve on your weaknesses? The categories thus far are "my biggest weakness" so you can share what your weaknesses are. We all have them! "Toning Discussions" for the athlete interested in firming rather than losing, and "Losing Weight" for anybody interested in shedding a few pounds.

Copy and paste the direct link to the discussion tab into your browser: http://www.facebook.com/SamanthaNicholeFitness?sk=app_2373072738

Feel free to interact or start your own discussion! Also, become a fan of Mind & Body on Facebook. Every time we post the Facebook is updated, so you can stay tuned.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Trick Yourself into Exercising

Motivation to exercise can be difficult to obtain. Not only do you have to plan exercising around your work day, but sometimes you have to wake up at hours earlier than normal to achieve your fitness goals. Here are some ways I trick myself into finding motivation to work out (PS - You don't NEED a gym membership for all tips).


Six Tips to Trick

1. Sign up for a class at the gym with limited space. Doing this will make you feel obligated to attend because you have an “appointment.”

2. Find a workout buddy! Sometimes you need a little push. A friend who shares the same goals as you (key: who shares the same goals) will help you, and you, in turn, will help your workout buddy.

3. Train for something. Whether you are training for a marathon, trying out for a team, or becoming a member of a bar volleyball league, create a goal to train for something.

4. (#3 and #4 go hand-in-hand) When you make goals for yourself, be specific. For example, "I will run the Chicago Marathon in August of 2011." If you simply say you are going to lose weight, you will lose motivation and tell yourself, “Well, I wanted to lose weight, and I guess I lost 5 pounds, so I can stop now,” or whatever the case may be.

5. Wear workout clothes when you are cleaning the house, and keep dance music or the Discovery Health Channel playing on your TV. When I wear my workout clothes, I want to SWEAT! There is something that clicks within me that inspires me to be active. So, if I’m cleaning, I will finish cleaning (I usually work up a sweat) and I’ll play a workout DVD or play my Kinect to get my blood pumping.

6. Invest in Xbox Kinect. I am not a spokeswoman for Kinect, but having the Kinect for Xbox has made a major impact on what I do with my free time. I play Dance Central, and I don’t even realize I’m working out because I have so much fun; however, I get tired, I still sweat, and my heart rate increases, thus it tricks me into working out.

No matter why you want to work out, sometimes finding motivation can be tough. Take these tips I have created from experience and use what works for you! Add new ideas into your own list to continue tricking yourself into working out.

Good Luck!
Samantha Nichole

Thursday, May 19, 2011

My First Bikram Yoga Experience

When I stepped into the Bikram yoga room, my heart immediately began to flutter. I thought to myself, "How am I going to make through this class? I can't do it!" As a person who suffers nearly every summer from heat exhaustion, I knew it would be a magnificent feat for me to finish the “hot yoga” class. However, I toughed it out and thought to myself, "I paid for this class. This will be a great learning experience."

I opened my green leaf-decorated yoga mat down on the carpet floor, spread a beach towel over my mat, and rested on my back with my eyes closed until class started. My heart continued to beat quickly, but once my friend Amanda arrived (she gave me moral support) I became more relaxed.

The instructor began speaking and I stood up, along with the rest of the class, and walked to the top of my mat. We started with simple breathing exercises. Inhaling and exhaling. We kept our hands clasped below our chins, and we lifted our elbows up to the sky as we inhaled. We exhaled with our mouths open, brought our chins slowly up toward the sky, and brought our elbows slowly together simultaneously.

After the breathing exercise we proceeded to a series of poses. The poses we did were normal yoga postures, executed the same way as any other form of yoga, but they were much more difficult given the extreme heat. My body was sweating profusely, and we only stopped two times for a drink of water. Although I was sweating, becoming weak, and was exhausted, the feeling that the Bikram session gave me was amazing.

It was amazing how much flexibility I gained throughout the class. I have never sweat that much before, but the cleansing feeling Bikram gave me was rewarding. I was challenged to keep going, and I was surprised that my body was able to handle the heat. Because of my immense concentration on the poses, I soon forgot how warm I was, and I simply focused on the task at hand: breathing and posture.

An hour and a half later we concluded our class with another breathing exercise. Thankfully, I made it through the class, and I felt amazing afterward. Needless to say, I purchased an unlimited month of yoga for less than $40.00, and I am continuing my practice!


(Picture Courtesy of Third Coast Digest)

If you are in the Milwaukee area and are interested in the studio I now attend, click HERE!


(Picture Courtesy of WISN)

For more information on Bikram yoga, click HERE!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Audrey Hepburn at a Glance

I want to be like Audrey Hepburn, but even better (I think this and I smile). Here's a tribute to the profound actress who also made a name for herself as a philanthropic humanitarian.


A Little About Audrey

Hepburn was born on May 4, 1929 in Brussels, Belgium. Both her parents were wealthy (her father was an English banker and her mother was a Dutch baroness), but they divorced and Hepburn attended a school exclusive for girls in Holland

"While vacationing with her mother in Arnhem, Holland, Hitler's army took over the town. It was here that she fell on hard times during the Nazi occupation. Audrey suffered from depression and malnutrition. After the liberation, Audrey went to a ballet school in London on a scholarship and later began a modeling career" (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000030/bio).

She found a niche for modeling, and at that time movie producers began approaching her as well. 1948 is when Hepburn started making a name for herself in film. She was in:

Dutch in Seven Lessons (1948)
Young Wives' Tale (1951)
Roman Holiday (1953)
Funny Face (1957)
Sabrina (1954)
Love in the Afternoon (1957)
The Nun's Story (1959)
Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961)
Charade (1963)
My Fair Lady (1964)
Two for the Road (1967)
Wait Until Dark (1967)
Always (1989)

She was named one of the top 100 Movie Stars of All Time, and she worked for UNICEF from 1988 on. IMDb wrote that some of Hepburn's trademarks were: Here elegant beauty, Her elegant beauty, she was often cast opposite leading men who were considerably older than her, she often played classy high society women, and her wide brown eyes.

According to UNICEF's website (www.unicef.org)...

"Soon after becoming a UNICEF ambassador, Hepburn went on a mission to Ethiopia, where years of drought and civil strife had caused terrible famine. After visiting UNICEF emergency operations, she talked about the projects to the media in the United States, Canada and Europe over several weeks, giving as many as 15 interviews a day. It set a precedent for her commitment to the organization."


Picture courtesy of www.unicef.org

UNICEF went on to explain that Hepburn has traveled to Turkey, Venezuela, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Bangladesh, and Viet Nam. Aside from traveling the world to make a difference, UNICEF also dislcosed that "[Hepburn] testified before the US Congress, took part in the World Summit for Children, launched UNICEF's State of the World's Children reports, hosted Danny Kaye International Children's Award ceremonies, designed fundraising cards, participated in benefit concert tours and gave many speeches and interviews promoting UNICEF's work."

Hepburn recieved the Presidential Medal of Freedom in December, 1992. She continued to travel (with cancer) to Somalia, Kenya, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, France, and the United States. "She died in her home in Switzerland on 20 January 1993."

SOURCES:
www.UNICEF.org
www.IMDb.com

Monday, April 25, 2011

Why I Love Dancing and Writing

I’ll tell you why I love writing. You will find that my writing appreciation is similar to my dancing appreciation. Writing is something I can do any time, and I can enjoy it alone. Writing is an escape; Writing is a way for me to express my thoughts and ideas, woes, and excitements. Writing is a way for me to share information with others, and writing is something that I simply love. Dance is an escape, and dance is a way for me to express my thoughts and ideas, woes, and excitements. Dance is a way for me to share with others, and dancing is something that I simply love.
My mind is filled with ideas and I get an adrenaline rush when I write and complete a story; My blood starts pumping, my adrenaline kicks in, and a supernatural force takes over my body when I dance. I am not in control, but my mind is making my body do whatever I tell it to do—whenever I tell it to. Writing and dance are more similar than one would think, and that’s why writing and dancing are my two favorite things to do.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Mindfulness to Reduce Stress

This article was originally written by Laura Hoxworth; therefore, inspiration for this blog was due to Hoxworth. Thank you!

When walking through the hallway in front of the fitness center on my college campus, I came across a large stack of bright green papers. I thought to myself, "odd" and I kept walking. Without rhyme or reason, I decided to turn around and pick up one of the sheets of paper. I'm glad I did, because it was exactly that I needed at the moment.

The headline of a short half-page article said, "Mind your 'mindfulness' to reduce stress." Perfect. That morning everything that could have went wrong did! I woke up late, spilled coffee on my pants, had to stop and get gas because I was too low (again), and I forgot to give myself even more time to print multiple class copies for a presentation I had that morning. Stress was the only thing on my mind.

The article was from USA Weekend (August 13-15 2010), and it gave me tips to clear my head and connecct with my body. Both those concepts were foreign to me that morning, so it was the perfect match. The article started by exploring meditation. "Susan L. Smalley and Diana Winston, authors of Fully Present: The Science, Art, and Practice of Mindfulness, advocate meditating daily by "paying attention with openness and curiosity to the present moment." Mindfulness is based on heightened sensory awareness, and studies suggest it can help reduce stress, increase attention span, boost creativity and strengthen the immune system, among other benefits."

Smalley and Winston continued by expressing that any person can practice mindfulness, even when walking, driving, exercising, etc. They went to explain three quick tips to separate yourself from your thoughts in order to become more mindful.

Clear your head

"Focus on the moment with an open and curious mind. If you find yourself stressed or overwhelmed, concentrate on your breathing." [Side note: this is especially helpful for me when I have my migraines. I simply concentrate on my breathing and clearing my mind. I don't think of anything. If you get migraines, the best thing to do is clear your head; no pun intended.]

Connect with your body

"Notice each physical sensation without interpreting or labeling it. If you're outside, feel the breeze on your face and notice the colors in the trees and the sounds around you."

Practice

"The more you do it, the greater the benefit..."


Good luck! Please comment.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Mindful Retreat to New York?

Tomorrow morning I am going to be leaving for the long drive to New York city. Because I have never been to the east coast, I hope to absorb as much of the experience as possible, and I also hope to gain knowledge about the city's culture and history. Of course, I know the shopping will be excellent, but for a poor college student like me I'm mostly interested in the fact that I am getting the opportunity to visit a place I have never been to.

That is precisely why this is a mindful retreat for me. I'm interested in more than the shopping and such; New York is the place where my ancestors first stepped foot on American soil (as far as I know), and this is a city with rich and diverse culture. As a young woman trying to get the most out of life and education, I'm looking forward to this mindful retreat to the big city.

I will be sure to post pictures and comments!

Sincerely,
Samantha Nichole

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Mind, spirit, and...oh yeah...body.

It's been too long since I have posted, and for that I apologize! I haven't been neglecting my health, but I will admit that I have been paying more attention to my mind and spirit and less attention to my body. Although I have been studying intensely and working hard to make money, I Haven't had time to exercise my body; in fact, I feel hypocritical waking up at 4:30 in the morning and teaching fitness courses because I haven't had time to exercise my own body--why should I tell others how to exercise theirs if I can't exercise mine?

That is the rut I am finding myself in; no time to exercise, but just enough time to finish the homework that needs to be done. This is one of the many reasons I miss Energee!: a great excuse to workout, and a workout I didn't even realize I was getting.

On another note, I have put my current teaching schedule below; feel free to join a class at anytime.

Tuesdays; 5:30am Bodyworks (Wauwatosa, Wisconsin Athletic Club)
Every-other-Wednesday: 12:00 noon Bootcamp

More yoga to come after I have received my national certification.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Three Stupidly Simple Steps to Setting Goals

Do you want to set goals for yourself, but you don't know where to start? Here are three stupidly simple steps to setting goals. (Remember to set goals for yourself that are realistic yet challenging!)

#1) Do an assessment of your life.

Where am I spending my time and energy?
What area of my life needs attention? (Relationships, occupation, school, spirituality?)
How can I spend more time doing those things I am missing in my life?

#2) Do something about it.

Write down your goals in a book.
Write down HOW and WHEN you are going to achieve these goals.
Recruit friends to help you reach your goals.
If you're comfortable, publish those goals on social media in order to get support from family and friends.
Implement your plan of action. (Get off your bum and do it.)

#3) Remember the saying "birds of a feather flock together." If you want success, surround yourself by people who also want to succeed. Finding friends and family who share a common goal will only make you more likely to succeed. (Be careful, though. Sometimes when you put your mind to something you may drift away from good friends who don't share that same interest with you. Keep that in mind!)

Those three steps are all it takes, but sometimes setting goals for yourself can be the easy part. Achieving those goals is another story, so put your mind to it, and go to work!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Vision Board

This is my vision board. I created this vision board to help me stay motivated and positive during work; on the cover, there are many things that I want in life and images of things that make me happy. Strawberries, pools, home decor, tea, flowers, OM, and more. I even threw in a quote:

Practice Makes Perfect Yoga Sutra I.13 To achieve and remain stable in a state of yoga, or focused concentration (citta vrtti nirodhah), you must make the effort to give strength to your foundation through practice.

This yoga sutra reassures me of what I already know: the only way to achieve something is through practice. I like to think about my accomplishments as a dancer. How did I become good at what I love? I practiced non-stop. When I was young I would spend (literally) 2-3 hours per night in the basement practicing dance technique and working out. I would also work hard at Piggly Wiggly being a checker to pay for dance lessons at Mirror Image School of Dance. I showed up to dance team practices early and stayed late. I joined other sports such as Track and Field to become a well-rounded athlete. That's why I have become a good dancer, and I transfer that mentality into my everyday life.

Here is my vision board. These are things I want and things I love.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Goals and a Vision

As a full-time student and full-time employee, I am finding it very hard to balance my time. I'm sure many women my age are in this situation: juggling school and work. I have been thinking of ways I can make time for the activities I love such as dancing and fitness, knitting, and writing, but I lack the organization.

Here are some goals I am setting for myself.

1. Become more organized. How? Making sure I carry my calendar with me everywhere and mark down spots in my calendar (early in the day) for homework and such.
2. Work out three times per week. How? Set aside time in my calendar to work out, and stick with it! Find a jogging buddy, or start using my Kinect more often.
3. Finish all homework that's due two-to-three days in advance. How? Being more organized will help, and once I get a computer that will help as well. However, I can do this by carrying my backpack with me and keeping it in my car; therefore, if I have any extra time, I will spend it reading through my assigned reading or writing in a notebook.

In addition to these goals, I have made a checklist of homework I have to accomplish. I'm in my last semester of school, and I love school, so I cannot afford to put that love on the back burner. I know these goals will keep me motivated! I have four weeks before my "hardcore" half-marathon training begins, and I want to be ready. I need a clear mind and a vision of where I am headed.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

WAC Member in People Magazine!

Alverno's 10K Contest

In order to keep my half-marathon training in the back of my mind at all times, I decided to form a team for Alverno's 10K contest. Each person much keep track of the number of steps they take using a pedometer, and each person makes a pledge to themselves to walk a 10K a day--or get as close to a 10K as possible!

Our team's name is Team Hodgepodge. We are a group of various people: students, faculty, staff, and some of us don't know one another. We pledged to walk a 10K per day; even though the requirements are to walk, one can keep track of running and working out. This is especially great because I usually run a few miles every week, but now that it's a contest I have a goal to work toward, and I'm looking forward to running every day! We're gunna be awesome...

Anyway, this is going to be an excellent way for me to keep on top of cross training and staying healthy, and I believe that everyone can benefit from a little bit of competition. By having a set goal and competition I am going to be able to meet my goals. I am very much looking forward to what this 10K contest will bring.

P.S. - There is a dance contest at the party for the participants (smiley face!).

Thursday, February 3, 2011

QUICK POST!

Really quick post.

My Workout Yesterday
My workout yesterday consisted of a few basic things...

20 minutes of abs
15 minutes arms
15 minutes legs
Kinect: Your Shape Evolved and Dance Central (combination of) for 3 hours.

Let's just say I'm sore!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Half-Marathon Training

It has been an unusually long time since I posted. However, I have been keeping up fairly well with my Tumblr blog.

As I may have stated earlier, I am training for a half-marathon! I am so excited. Right now I am starting on cross-training. My regular running schedule doesn't start until mid-April, but nevertheless I'll start now.

What did I do today?

First, I taught a fitness class at 5:30am, and because I had only four hours of sleep I went straight home to nap. Although I was at home, I didn't slack. In addition to cleaning the apartment. I would have went to the WAC down the road, but instead (due to the blizzard--literally--we are currently in. For more information check out my tumblr blog) I have been playing Dance Central and Fitness Evolved on my Kinect. Because it's so fun, I think it was a little overkill. Three and a half hours of dancing and working out is a little extreme, but then again "go big or go home!" Right?!