Friday, April 11, 2014

Yoga Videos on YouTube

For the past few months I've been involved in a work project that has kept me away from the Wednesday @ noon yoga class that my employer offers. I've been missing it SO MUCH. A noon class at work is really convenient. Little to no effort goes in to me actually getting there, and the teachers we've had are excellent.

I wanted to add a practice back into my week because I really love yoga, and I think it helps me focus and regroup. In the past I've done some of the free Yoga Journal podcasts, and I've liked those. Since my Samsung TV is connected to YouTube, I thought I would try out some of the free YouTube yoga videos.

But, let's face it, most yoga videos on YouTube are pretty bad. I've seen my fair share of folks who have recorded themselves in their tiny apartments on dirty carpet with dogs barking in the background. Not to mention the awful sequences in general and bad instructions.

But, I've found some gems, too, so I thought I'd share them . The first one is my favorite. The instructor, Ali Kamenova, has a beautiful Russian accent. Her hot body and the gorgeous Santa Cruz beach in the background doesn't hurt, either. This is a challenging sequence. I appreciate that she adds in a chaturanga between upward and downward dogs, creating a little "push up" in the sequence. Georgette, my yoga teacher in Clinton, added that little push up to her sequences, too, and I love it. This is more a of a strengthening sequence.

Energizing Morning "Coffee Cup" Sequence:

The other video I like is more of a flexibility sequence. It flows very quickly and is a great warm up for the body. Again, I love the beach setting. This one is less challenging physically, but a little harder to follow because she flows through the poses quickly.

Morning "Blush of Dawn" Routine:

If you are looking for some good, free routines, give these a try. Both are great for an intermediate yogi. I wouldn't suggest them for beginners. If you know of other YouTube gems that I should check out, let me know in the comments.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Smoothie Kick

I've been on a green smoothie kick lately. It started with Lydia's babysitter. She would whip one up when she got to our house in the mornings and would often share with me. I was hooked.

I started making them myself a few weeks ago, and I love it! Here's the basic recipe I use.

1 cup flavored Kefir (I usually use strawberry or peach because that's what they have at Kroger)
1 large handful of greens (I've used kale, swiss chard, and spinach)
1/2 banana
1/2 cup fruit (raspberries, strawberries, mango, etc)
1 Tbsp black chia seeds (for fiber to feel full)
1 Tbsp flax seeds (protein for sustained energy)

Blend on low, then high until smooth. Add 1 cup ice if you like yours chilled. Blend on high until all ice is blended.

So, depending on what fruit you add, the smoothie will probably be brown or gray. Not green. But that doesn't bother me. I feel great getting in so many fruits and veggies first thing in the morning. I do find that sometimes I need a mid-morning snack when I just have a smoothie, so I keep Autumn Wheat Kashi at my desk to munch on.

Saturday, April 05, 2014


We picked up a trike with a steering handle at the recommendation of our friends. (Thank you, Leah!) Lydia LOVES it! We like it too.

We've been all over the place. Up and down the driveway FAST FAST FAST. Up the street and back. To the park and back. All over. Not a weekend has gone by that we did not use it. By next summer, I hope she can reach the pedals!

Friday, April 04, 2014

The Zoo!

We took Lydia to the Memphis Zoo last month. It was a great day to go - overcast but not raining. Lydia's favorite animals were the monkeys, big cats, and giraffes. She didn't last long in the sea lion show. I think we will be back many more times. I loved it!

On the train in the children's zoo.

Waving to the children and animals.