Category Archives: Healthy Habits

Today’s Workout Track

EarbudsI went into the gym today determined to get a decent workout in.  After the holiday break (Thanksgiving to New Years) I am left with 8 more pounds than I wanted.  Mix in a busy schedule of grad school finals, work, and travelling from here to there I hardly had time to make it to the climbing gym I enjoy so much.  It is a new year and it’s a perfect time for a fresh start.

For those that don’t already know I love good electronic music.  A blend of electro, hip-hop beats, cleverly utilized vocal samples are what I needed on the treadmill today.  I’d like to share this track with you so that you can have as much fun on the treadmill as I did today.  (If it were just a little warmer this evening I would have gone outside to run, but alas, it’s January.)

I downloaded this mp3 from BwompBeats.com months back and decided I needed a good 20-minute mixtape to keep me going.  You can download the track here:  MiMOSA’S FUTURE TRiLL MiX 2012 v2 (note: contains explicit content).

Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga Primary Series Key

For a good amount of the spring and summer time of last year I practiced yoga at home.  My room is not the best place to spread out, but there was enough to work with.  On the wall I taped a great instruction sheet that my friend gave me onto my wall.  As I stand at the top of my mat, I would gaze forward to reference the sequence of the standing postures and then began breathing through the movements.  Not only do I like how this key shows you the fully expressed variation of the posture and how it reminds you when to inhale and exhale during salutations, but it also prompts you when to go through a vinyasa during the sequence of postures.

If you are unfamiliar, a vinyasa is the ‘standard sequence’ that can be performed between asanas, or postures.  The sequence usually begins with plank, then exhale down to chaturanga, inhale into up-dog, then bringing the hips back and exhale into down-dog; reference the sheet below in the section titled Suryanamaskara-A Sun Salute. 

One of the important things when practicing yoga is to remember where your gaze is.  I’m glad to see that when it shows where to gaze when holding and breathing through an asana.

So without further ado, I share with you this key that was printed by Yoga Sport located in Bryn Mawr, PA.

Always remember to take full and deep breaths in and out of your nose, listen to what your body is telling you, and to have fun!

I Found an Old Workout Sheet

I had forgotten about this great workout routine I had found online some time ago.  I was wondering where it went!  I recently opened it up when I found it hiding in my journal and I observed all the notes I made for what worked for me at the time.  This document was printed out the summer of 2010 when I was getting more and more serious about training for parkour.  The descriptions are plain and simple.  (If you are not familiar on how to do these exercises properly, I suggest you search youtube for proper techniques.)  There are dynamic moves that require weights to be thrusted or swung about so I wrote down the weights that are comfortable for me.  Read over the whole routine before starting so that you pick and choose and plan out how you want your workout session to go.

If you are looking to gain more strength, flexibility, and stamina, I suggest you try this full-body workout that can help you build an able and healthy body.

Link: Parkour Training Workout Sheet

Good Luck and always remember to listen to what your body is telling you!  Be nice to it and it will be nice to you.  Happy Exercising!

PS.  I unfortunately don’t have the source of this sheet, but if you know who wrote this out, please send me their information so that I can give them proper credit.

The Most Important Meal of the Day

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Breakfast is an extremely important meal for me because I work construction. I need as much energy as I can get and the most efficient way for my body to get it is by consistently fueling it every morning. Not with donuts, sugar or cake,  but with hearty and healthy ingredients that I trust will keep me going until snack time.

A Guide to Sun Salutations

I found this on StubleUpon somewhere and thought this was a cool way to represent the flow of postures when practicing Sun Salutations.  Something to remember when practicing yoga is that you are always moving with your breath.  As a general rule of thumb, your inhale comes when you raise the arms over head and on up-dogs, and your exhale is released on forward folds and down-dogs.  If you are already familiar Sun Salutation A, but have not gone further in your practice then this is a good resource to reference modifications and deepen your yogic practice.

Print this out and hang on your wall for best results.

And if you don’t “do” yoga, you can start by taking a couple minutes every morning when you get out of bed and doing Half Surya Namaskara just to loosen up your muscles, get some blood flowing, and wake up your spine.  I Googled Sun Salutations and found this nice little post outlining the basics of this simple, yet highly beneficial exercise.(http://www.artofliving.org/sun-salutation)  Here is another article that goes deeper into the benefits of this practice (http://www.healthandyoga.com/html/news/surya.html).

4 miles on the Patapsco River Trail

This morning I decided to seek out a new trail in my area and grace it with my footprints.  This trail is easy to moderate in difficulty.  At around 10am I encountered two ladies on horseback and a woman walking her dog, so, not too many people on the trail.  This was the first time I’ve ever seen horses be ridden on a Patapsco trail.  I mean, I’ve spotted the horse poop periodically along paths, but never the horse.  The Woodstock Seminary Trails in Patapsco Valley State Park  include the Patapsco River Trail and the Nike Trail.  According to a hiking guide book, Baltimore Trails by Bryan MacKay, the Nike trail takes you to a quarry that was mined for granite and to the abandoned Nike missile site used during the Cold War in the 1950s and 60s.  Today I didn’t take the Nike Trail because I didn’t know if I could have made the entire 4.6 mile circuit.  However, I did make it 2 miles down and 2 miles back on the Patapsco River Trail that began at Woodstock Road.  I hear there is good rock climbing/bouldering in Woodstock, but I didn’t encounter any climbing opportunities today.  Next time I am in this region of the park I will definitely check out the water at the quarry and the old site.

It feels good to get back into the park and run the trails.  When the temperature is too high or the air quality is poor, I tend to stay inside or go to Earth Treks to get my fitness fix.   I was lucky today because, even though we are supposed to see temperatures raise to the mid-90s, I was able to find protection from the sun beneath the leaves of the trees.  It also helps that I am an efficient ‘cooler’ by sweating buckets as I run.  I even felt the top of my skin and it was cool rather than warm–an interesting phenomena.

Running is one of 3 main workouts that help me maintain, strengthen, and progress my fitness goals.  Through trail running I am able to revert back to a primal mentality as I sprint through the forest, never stopping to look back and only concerned with where my next step lands.  You don’t get this at the shopping malls of suburbia nor in bustling city centers.  You can’t buy this feeling of freedom within nature; it’s free.

How I Integrate Minimalism in My Life

After reading several blogs that talk about minimalism I was inspired to bring the principles of living a meaningful life and living with less and simplicity into my life. Making conscious decisions about how I conduct my behavior, how I carry out my day, and determining what are my daily goals have created a new sense of what it means to interact with others and, most importantly, to interact with myself.  Be gentle with yourself.  These four words guide me throughout my day and help me to stay calm, while at the same time, help me become a stronger person and further endure the mental strains of daily life.  I feel that if one is mindful of their thoughts and habits, then that individual obtains a sense of control over themselves in any situation that they may encounter.  This idea, I believe, is what drives people to do good things and to act accordingly parallel to their beliefs.  This is what I think minimalism can bring.  This is what I think are some ingredients to living a meaningful life.

At this point in my life I feel like I am only at the beginning and there is a lot of work ahead of me.  Somehow I became nearly a quarter-century old and I found myself piecing the chunks and bits I have learned over the years and finally accepted how to live and be with-my-self.  Minimalism brings many opportunities because you end up lessening the amount of junk in your life and realizing that you want to add goodness in your life.  No matter what that junk was and what that goodness ends up being this procedure of change, I believe, manifests understanding and control of your mind and body.  Distractions are everywhere and it seems like it gets easier and easier for us to be taken away from ourselves.  How easily is it for our train of thought to become disturbed and for us to lose attention?  I mean, don’t get me wrong, I have been known to space out every now and then, but, when it really matters are you able to focus?

These are types of questions that run in my mind and are questions I ask myself.  The principles of Minimalism lead me to think less about crap and do more of the good-shit; for me that means running, climbing, stretching, breathing, reading, learning, walking, and, right now, writing.  For me, Minimalism is about being present in what you do and not needing much to do it.  It also reminds me that I am the only person who can give my self a truly meaningful and happy life.  Thank you for reading and I wish you, too, a happy and meaningful life.