Wednesday, June 15, 2011


My yoga instructor Jason Amis - and yes, the clock says 6:30 AM!

Making exercise a part of your daily routine will send you on the road to skinny-ness. (Or keep you skinny.)  Some people may say that my schedule is a bit extreme, so we might as well start with my Wednesday plan. 

My alarm goes off at 5 AM.  I walk the dog, have a cup of coffee, hopefully pass a street vendor and get a banana on the way to the Y, and take yoga at 6:30 AM.  Jason teaches - he's a great guy, but he really kicks your ass.  You'd think he'd have a heart at 6:30 in the morning, but he doesn't.  He calls the class power yoga and he's not kidding.

As those of you who take yoga know, you work on keeping a smile on your face and relax through your practice, even as you are in poses that can be pretty excruciating.  (To quote Peter Pan: "Think happy thoughts!)  You remove yourself from the pain and try to get to a place where you are in your own world and not focusing on your discomfort.  I try to apply this to all of my exercising, and taking classes first thing in the morning helps - I don't really fully wake up until I'm in the pool at the end of the work out.

After yoga I take a spin class.  Again, the lights are out, the music is blaring, I've got my eyes closed, and I visualize being outside - on a beach, or riding my bike down a curving mountain path.  It's a beautiful day, the sun is shining, and I'm in La La Land.  Before I know it we're doing stretches and the class is over.

I wear a heart rate monitor so I can see if I'm working hard enough.  I love the feature that calculates how many calories you've burned at the end of your session.  This morning I burned 487 calories in the 45 minute class (I don't wear the monitor during yoga).

When I waited until after work to go to the gym I skipped the my work outs fairly often.  It's too easy to come up with an excuse not to work out and suddenly you realize it's been six weeks since you've been to the gym and you wonder why your clothes are starting to feel a bit tight.  I like to take classes, too, rather than do my own thing.  There's a nice sense of community and when you miss a class, your instructor and probably a few of the students will call or email to ask if you're OK.  You feel guilty when you miss a class.

At the end of every workout is dessert: sauna, steam and a dip in the pool.  There is a small pool at the Y that is absolutely heaven on earth.  There are hand-painted tiles, stained glass windows and the temperature is kept at 90 degrees.  It's great for stretching after gruelling power yoga!

Here's the crew from Wednesday morning spin, taught by Linda Schmidt (center in fusia and black & white stripes).  Linda is the perfect teacher for a post yoga spin class - she's calm and soothing and doesn't destroy my yoga buzz!

I sneak into the small pool as the senior's arthritis class is wrapping up.

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