I get a lot of questions from readers and friends about what I do to stay in shape, so I thought I would share it here with you all! Note: The clothing I am wearing was provided to me by Athleta, but all views in this post are my own. Seriously, I will sit there and flip through the Athleta catalogue and it actually makes me want to work out – the models are real fit girls, with amazing yet still healthy looking bodies, and most importantly the clothes are super stylish and functional.
I first realized I needed to make fitness a priority in my life after gaining 50 pounds while pregnant with my son Adam- when it didn’t magically disappear like I thought it would after delivery. It was especially difficult for me to workout because like most new moms, I was so wrapped up in all of the duties and seemingly endless feedings and diaper changings – I barely had time to shower let alone go to the gym- and add sleep deprivation to that and it was nearly impossible! I needed to find a program that I could fit in to my busy schedule, and something that I really enjoyed doing, so that I could be consistent. That’s when I discovered hot yoga, and got myself into even better shape than I was in before baby.
My favorite yoga studio is TriBalance Yoga in Schaumburg – I’ve been to a lot of yoga centers and I highly recommend this one. The hot yoga class is hard, and you will sweat profusely, but after you are done it will feel like you are rejuvenated and reenergized. I’ve attended classes with several of the teachers and I learn something new every time. They also offer a ton of classes including really early and late in the day, so it is easy for me to go in before or after work or on the weekends. I also love that they play music during class, the playlist is always changing but you can expect a variety from Lana Del Rey to Nirvana. Most importantly, the classes are always challenging and I see results almost immediately, my core is tighter and my limbs look longer and leaner. There is also something about all that sweating that makes my skin look like I’ve just gotten a steam facial, talk about an added bonus!
At first my goal was just to drop the extra pregnancy weight but now, three years later, I go regularly because I love the way it makes me feel stronger mentally and physically. Sometimes if I’ve missed a couple of weeks of class, I’ll notice myself getting impatient and irritable and my husband will suggest I go to yoga because he knows just how it helps me to relieve stress and improve my mood.
One thing that always motivates me to get to the studio is wearing great workout clothes, like this look I’m wearing from Athleta. I personally love wearing bright colors and mixing and matching like I’ve done in this outfit. Getting an amazing sports bra and perfect fitting stretch yoga pants is crucial for having the best workout. I always like to coordinate my outfit with a zip up hoodie to wear while warming up, and this one with the thumb holes is actually great for keeping your sleeves down in downward dog. Furthermore, get your workout clothes to match your personality, for example, if you’re a dog lover then look for printed dog shirts to make you feel more relaxed and zen in your workout.
|Yoga instructor Becki and I in boat pose|
|Adam loved helping us roll up our yoga mats in the studio!|
The thing I love most about hot yoga is it truly is a mind and body workout. I am so busy focusing on breathing and pushing myself to get into the pose even deeper, I can’t even think about my to-do list or anything that is bothering me that day. I can’t stare at the clock (there isn’t one) and I’m definitely not scrolling through Instagram like I do when I’m on a treadmill. You also can’t “win” yoga, there isn’t an end goal like being able to lift a certain weight or running a particular distance, yoga is like life – you can always improve so the goal is to enjoy the journey. There will be days where it is easy to twist practically into a pretzel, and other days where it is very challenging to do some of the basic poses. My teacher Becki often says to come to your yoga practice without ego or judgement. I think that is pretty great advice for life, both on and off the mat.
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