Howdy, folks! ;) How was your Tuesday?
It was back to the grind for me… again!
After almost an entire week off of work for snow, we went in for another half day today. And get this! It’s sleeting as we speak, and they are calling for another 3-6 inches of snow by tomorrow afternoon. Ugh!
Who wants to take a trip with me???
Last night I had the best of intentions. After waiting all day to work out, just in case the mail lady came with P90X, I decided to browse the videos On Demand at Exercise TV.
When I came across the description I was sold!
“Jeanette Jenkins will sculpt your entire body while burning calories with this high energy interval training workout. Jeanette will have you alternating between kickboxing combinations and weight training moves to maximize your workout.” ~Exercise TV On Demand Description
And high energy it was! I haven’t sweat like that in a while!
Here’s a 40 second snippet of some of the weight training:
After 51 minutes of kicking butt, and girl-power punching, I burned over 700 calories! My heart rate was between 88-97% the entire time! Workout videos are not for sissies!
After that, I was ready for some nutrients.
I made Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Shitake Mushrooms, and Fennel adapted from Clean Food by Terry Walters.
Brussels sprouts, shitake mushrooms, fennel bulb, EVOO, balsamic vinegar, rosemary, and a pinch of sea salt roasted for 25 mins at 425, tossed and roasted for another 25 mins. Yummers!
I also made Quinoa and Sweet Corn from the same cookbook.
Frozen sweet corn, quinoa, and sautéed onions.
An irresistible combo full of color, flavor and texture!
After a delicious and relaxing dinner with the hubbers, I decided to put into action my plan to get more rest. I started my bed routine at 9:30. Crawled into bed at 9:45, turned the TV off at 10:30, and stayed awake until… 11:30!
I just can NOT rest my mind.
I decided to “do a little research.” I am the Queen of Google of course!
I would like to see how I can use Yoga to help me calm my mind and relax my body before bed.
I found an article that is very much in line with what I have already put into place from Yoga Journal. It recommends activities such as setting up rituals, getting to bed earlier, and keeping a journal.
But here are three ideas I have not tried, but will try to incorporate beginning tonight:
Create a Wind-Down Period
The next step is to create some space between your busy day and sleep time. "You can’t just work until 9 at night, and then stick your head on the pillow and fall asleep," Khalsa says. So turn off the television, computer, and radio. Cut down on or eliminate evening classes and exercise that leaves you feeling amped up. When you come home, honor this transition by playing relaxing music, lighting candles, or putting on your favorite pajamas. Think of the yoga precept of pratyahara: Withdraw your senses in order to turn inward.
If your schedule allows you to practice yoga only in the evening and you enjoy a vigorous practice, be sure to end your session with a sequence of slow, passive poses. (Go to yogajournal.com and type "Yin Yoga" or "restorative yoga" in the search box for sequence ideas.)
Breathe for Ease
Breathwork is another excellent addition to your nightly sleep routine. "Every time you exhale, it slows your heartbeat and that helps calm you down," says Roger Cole, an Iyengar Yoga teacher and a research scientist specializing in the physiology of sleep. Try two parts exhalation to one part inhalation. For example, start by exhaling through your nose to the count of 6 and then inhale through your nose to the count of 3. Do this for 5 to 30 minutes before bed.
Guide Your Relaxation
After getting into bed, try a body scan as you lie in Savasana (Corpse Pose): Progressively tense and then relax each part of your body. If you have trouble doing this on your own, get an audio CD of meditations, guided imagery, or Yoga Nidra (yogic sleep), to help. "This is good for people who have mental chatter," says Cole. "It takes their mind in a different direction."
Once you’ve chosen your specific nighttime ritual, repeat it every night to cue your body that it’s time for sleep. Khalsa says that after a few weeks of practice, your sleep will improve. "These things don’t work instantly, but over time you normalize arousal and sleep starts to get better." And as opposed to suffering from side effects such as headaches, dizziness, daytime drowsiness, and long-term dependence on drugs, you’ll feel better overall, instead of worse, with your nighttime routine. "It improves individuals on a holistic level, and other problems that they might have had also might start to dissipate," says Khalsa. Now that sounds like a side effect we can all live with.
It’s worth a shot! I think tonight I will try to do some yoga poses before climbing into bed, and practice deep breathing.
So sweet dreams, my friends! Breath deep and relax! Summer is only 130 days away!
What is your favorite way to wind down after a long day of work?