What a week!

How is everyone’s June going so far? This has been a week of ups and down. Strange but familiar. Ever have one of those?

I was told what not to wear because I am old. ( not worth linking the actual article but a quick search will give you many other similar fluff pieces )

I say to that:

WearWhateverThe HellYou Want

Give me my leopard print, converse sneakers, bright pink anything and oversized sunglasses. One thing you learn as you get older is to not give a shit what others think, especially about your wardrobe!

I became obsessed with the guilty  verdict,  weak sentencing and public outrage of former Stanford student turned rapist, Brock Tuner.  His name should not even be mentioned again.  I am so blown away by the words of this little dork and his elitist father. What is worth sharing is the letter written by the victim (warning: parts of it are graphic).  WOW.  Her words are powerful.  I got emotional as a mother and got all “Girl Power” as a woman when I read this statement.  Be the beacon of light, dear girl. Be the lighthouse.

A friend received a diagnosis, another leaving her husband, while another friend has an uphill battle of her own. Funny not but funny is that these three women are some of the strongest, toughest chicks I know. I have a gut feeling that they each will come out of their situations even more badass then ever. But still, I send them prayers and good vibes along the way.

I binge watched VEEP S1 & 2 in two days.  Seasons 3 & 4 are not free on Prime yet so they will have to wait. I am not sure if I liked it enough to invest more time on it. Did anyone else see it? Should I keep watching? I have to say I am happy to see Anna Chlumsky in the cast. I have not seen her in anything since My Girl.  I always liked her but did not follow her career. I would say she is one of my favorites on this show.

I was introduced to a new yogi to follow on YouTube – Lesley Fightmaster of Fightmaster Yoga. I did a 30 minute class that focused on a lot of hip opening and flexibility in the back. I am hooked.  I am adding her into my weekend practice from here on out. That is when I have the most time to focus.  During the week, I can add parts that I learn into my personal practice. I am feeling the burn in my sides and core two days later. It’s been a long time since I felt sore from my practice. This new find is just what I needed to move forward where I otherwise felt stuck.

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And can we talk about this amazing weather? Even though we are still having crazy amounts of rain, the humidity has been low and the mornings are spring like cool. I AM IN HEAVEN!  Considering the AC in my house is total crap, I will take the cool temps all summer long if that is possible.  All my runner friends must be in their glory too! am I right?

Tonight, Dan and  I have plans to hang out with our sister and her husband. We are going to see Rubix Cube ,  our favorite 80’s tribute band!  They are so fun to watch with all their (seamless) costume changes and stage show.  It is a fun night and I recommend you check them out if they come to your neck of the woods.  Oh and did I mention some people dress up for the show?  That’s right ladies and gentleman.  People watching is part of the experience so grab out Members Only jacket, Wayfarers and lace gloves and entertain me!

It’s time for me to get ready for night so I gotta run! I hope you all have a fabulous weekend!  Make memories people!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Live in prAna style

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As an ambassador for the Sweat Pink /Fit Approach community, I get to learn about companies that are pretty darn amazing.  As a self proclaimed yoga junkie, I get giddy when I see a collaboration between our SPA’s (Sweat Pink Ambassador) and paAna. This past week, we had a special “pose of the day” challenge to help kick off prAna’s new spring line. 

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Cali Dress in Azalea Guava

As a SPA, I was chosen to be one of the challenge leaders last week which was an opprtunity I was very grateful for. I was be given the list of daily poses in advance to post a picture of myself doing the pose on my Instagram with special hashtags such as: #poseoftheday #pranaspringstyle and #sweatpink. In return, I was given a list of options to chose one item from prAna’s website.  I picked this cute sundress and I can not wait to receive it! A blog post will follow next month. But until then, let me tell you a little about this fantastic company.

 prAna’s mission is to inspire healthy, active and free-spirited living. They create versatile, stylish AND sustainable clothing plus accessories that you can wear during every adventure your life gives you. Their designs are based on their own personal experiences in yoga, climbing and travels.  I don’t know about you but when I travel, I want clothing that I pull from my suitcase and throw on. I don’t have to worry about if I need to iron before heading out the door.  I don’t have time for that.

Having cute, fashionable AND functional pieces of clothing on hand is a must when we plan to hike then get a bite to eat.  Sometimes, a sports bra and tank just doesn’t cut it.

Their designs combine classic style with modern materials.  If you check out their website, you will see a long list of sustainable materials that make up their line: Organic cotton, recycled wool and hemp to name a few.  They are also certified Bluesign which is a manufacturing process that sets and controls standards for an environmentally friendly and safe production so that the final textile products meets very stringent consumer safety requirements worldwide.  It also provides confidence to the consumer that they are acquiring a sustainable product. prAna has been a proud partner with Bluesign Systems since 2012. Let’s not forget they also donate to Outdoor Outreach which is a non-profit organization transforming lives of underserved youth with the outdoors. As a huge nature lover myself, I love that I can chose from a select group of products that I know help get kids outside and connect with nature! Did I mention they also have a fair trade line as well?

Here are a few more samplings of their Bluesign line:

I am proud to be able to share with you this special promo code PSSS16FHOI to receive 15% off your purchase!

Have you tried prAna before?

What is one item from their site that you would love to own?

 

*this campaign does include compensation and a discount code.  All opinions are my own.

Holiday Gift Guide for the Traveling Yogi

I am had this post floating around in my mind since my road trip over Thanksgiving.  Staying in five hotels over six days made me realize that although yoga CAN be practiced anywhere, there are some things that could make the experience a little more pleasurable.

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My main issue was space.  Each hotel we stayed at were either standard rooms or suites.  Each were laid out different bringing on different obstacles each day such as how much space I had to move vs. where to prop up my phone for the best screen shots.  I did not pack my yoga mat because I was trying to pack light.  Instead, I packed a beach towel figuring it would be fine.  I just wanted something to use as a barrier because my and the skeevy carpets. The towel only worked for floor exercises because I forgot about slippage. It’s hard to hold a good downdog when your hands are slipping out in front of you!  Then my mind starting with several “I wish I had this or that” thoughts.  Thus, the idea for a holiday gift guide was born.  You all know how I like a good list.  So, let’s get started!

1 – A travel mat like this  I Glow Travel Yoga Mat by LOLE:  It has an eco-friendly adhesive surface to grip the floor.  It comes in this bright pink color  (my fav!) and it’s only $30.00.  I am thinking this is a must for my next beach trip for use on the tile floor or maybe some sandy beach yoga too!

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2 – If you want to pack even lighter, another item on my list is a set of Yoga Paws – the yoga mat you wear on your hands and feet.  These are GENIUS! I have seen these used by yogis all over Instagram and have been wanting a set of my own for a while now. It would make outside yoga so much better with foot and hand protection. Using a mat on uneven ground can be a challenge. They come in four colors and an “elite” set runs you $44.95.

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3 – One thing that I did bring with me was my Infinity Strap. There are two types – stretchy or not.  I have a stretchy one and I LOVE IT.  With being in the car for long periods of time, I knew I would be in need of many a good stretch. This strap helps with that.  It is a great tool for getting deeper into a pose or helps to gain flexibility in poses your are learning.  I never travel without it. They have several bundles to choose from but a single strap is $19.99.  I am thinking about getting on to keep in my desk drawer at work as well.

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4 – If your yogi does Instagram challenges like I do, then a tripod is a MUST!  Does your partner always ask you to take their pictures while they hold a pose? Then this little secret will be my best tip and you can thank me later.  I wish I had remembered to pack my tripod.  I had a hard time finding a flat surface that was not at an odd angle to prop up my phone. I take video of my practice then screen shot the poses that I upload to Instagram. I have a little “octopus” style one that I can shape the legs on to match any surface. It’s great! You can find many different varieties on Amazon like this little guy:

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Some other yoga inspired gift ideas just off the top of my head:  Mat cleaner, essential oils, a new mat, yoga wheel, yoga blocks, yoga tanks/leggings, soy candles, any piece of jewelry with lotus flower/infinity loop/ohm/hand of fatima symbols on them, (Actually, any item with those types of symbols), a new journal, lotions, lip blams….

The list can go on and on!

Tell me what you think. Do you have a favorite travel tip to share? Or maybe there is a “can’t leave home without it” item in your travel kit? If does not have to be yoga related.  Please share! 

Disclaimer: I was not contacted by any of these companies nor was a I compensated for any reviews. All product selection and opinions are my own. 

Ending hunger one step at a time

cropcoverHello Everyone!

Sorry I have been absent for a while.  Things have been crazy busy and exciting for me since the end of August! One piece of business that I am currently involved with is our local chapter of Church World Services ( CWS ) Crop hunger Walk.  This is the fourth year Dan and I have been involved, third year on the steering committee.   We had several long time committee members retire this year leaving us without a “true leader” to oversee everything. Between meetings, phone calls and getting things ready for the walk on Oct. 11th, I have become more involved this year taking on a co-chair role of leading along with treasurer.  It was a bit overwhelming and bumpy at first. With the help of our awesome CWS contact, things are back on schedule!

Why am I walking?   Hunger remains one of the world’s most pressing challenges, with almost a billion people – or 1 in 7 worldwide- suffering from chronic hunger. In addition, each year up to 100 million more may face acute hunger brought on by natural disasters and conflicts.  Women and children are disproportionately affected by hunger and malnutrition.

How about here in the U.S.? 20.5 million Americans live in extreme poverty. This means their family’s cash income is less than half the poverty line, our about $10,000 a year for a family of four.

Crop Hunger Walks are community-wide events that bring people together in a common mission: helping hungry people at home and around the world.

You can be a part of it by sponsoring Dan and I on this 5.5 mile walk or come walk with me! Twenty-five percent of the funds raised will stay in my community to support Pennridge Fish, our local food pantry.  Last year we raised $27107. Just under $6780 helped feed and clothe those in need right here at home!

We will be welcoming walkers from a neighboring community that does not have a walk this year to join us.  Together, we hope to raise $45,000! Along with cash donations, we will be collecting canned goods as well on walk day that will be delivered to Pennridge Fish once the walk starts.

If you have any questions about sponsoring us or any other walker, registering on line or finding a walk in your community, please leave a comment below!

Have you tried Periscope yet?

(Disclaimer: What you are about it read is strictly my own opinion.  I was not contacted by Twitter or Periscope to give a review or voice an opinion.)

Now that we have that out of the way…. Raise your hand if you are on Periscope? Great! Now… raise both hands if you can’t get enough of it?  Yeah, me too! If you are new to this app like I am, there are some things to learn to enhance the experience (it’s not hard to use).  Basically, Periscope app is a way to live stream a video you are filming from your iOS or Android and people following you can interact in real time.  I think that is so cool!  Once you end your video, it then stays on your account for 24 hours and can be viewed again and again. The app will keep stats for you too such as: number of likes ( give hearts by tapping the screen), number of live viewers and number of viewers in the 24hr time frame.

Now, when I first heard about this back in June, i thought, “Great. Another social media app.” But when one of the yoga instructors I follow on Instagram announced she was going live for the first time, I thought I would jump on and see how it goes.  It was a little strange at first but I really got into interacting with the host and other viewers on line.  I like this app because I can follow along with some of my favorite yoga instructors to get tips on different poses, ask questions or learn something totally new to me. TIP: If you are a trainer or instructor in any field, this is a great way to connect with your clients!

Here are a few screen shots I took this morning as I watched some of Kino MacGregor’s home practice:

lots of love going on at this moment

lots of love going on at this moment

number of live broadcasts at that moment in time worldwide for your to watch

number of live broadcasts at that moment in time worldwide for your to watch

my profile linked from my Twitter acct

my profile linked from my Twitter account- come follow me!

I have not made my own video yet but maybe I will play around with it when I am camping in Vermont this weekend. I am always hesitant of giving away my location on line. I watch too much Criminal Minds if you know what I mean. One thing that I just learned today is that when you turn on your location, it only gives a regional area.  It does not pinpoint your exact location.  Smart thinking Periscope peeps!

With a quick google search, I found a great list of five quick tips on Hubspot.com which is where I learned about the location tagging. Also, you can check out a cool video demo for the app here on Periscope TV. The only downside so far that I find annoying are the pervs making comments totally not related to what the video is about. Watching yoga apparently brings out the idiot in people. The host can block them while live but you can easily block them as well but tapping on their comment and selecting block. This is also how you can reply to someone’s comment too.

I have only been on here for about three weeks but I am loving it so far!  I am finding new people to follow every day.

Tell me what you think.  Do you think you will give this app a try?  If you use Periscope, have you posted videos? What are your pros/cons?

Infinity Straps Are Awesome

Oh Infinity Strap!  How do I love thee?  Let me count the ways…

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Have you ever heard of Infinity Strap?  If you own one already, I am sure you will agree with my when I say, “Where have you been all my life?” But first, I want to point out that everything I say here is my own opinion.  I have not been contacted to review this product nor am I being compensated. I am just a woman with tight muscles who loves a good stretch.

I first learned about Infinity Strap on Instagram when I first started yoga.  I think they may have been a sponsor for a challenge I was doing.  Either that or someone was using one and I started to follow their page.  I don’t remember exactly.  But I do know that I was liking their posts but still on the fence about buying one.  See, I am not a “gear girl”.  I have a few things to make my workouts more comfortable but I tend to keep things simple. Did I really need this strap?  My nylon belt that was exactly what they sell as a yoga strap worked great!  After several months, I decided to dive in and buy one.  They come two ways: with elastic so that it stretches with you or without elastic for more stability. I opted for the elastic one and let me tell you, I wish I did not wait so long.

Here is a description from their website

The Infinity Strap (patent pending) is designed to solve the problems of the traditional Yoga strap by providing an elegant, simple, beautiful and safe alternative. The design of the Infinity Strap is a dual loop with a subtle twist at the center, forming a shape of an endless figure 8, which is illustrated by the timeless symbol of infinity. 

• Unique infinity shape keeps loops open for easy use

• No hardware to hurt your hands or feet

• No buckles to fuss with or constantly readjust!!

• Compact design means no extra strap in your way

• Deepen  poses and maintain proper alignment

• 3 sizes to fit all levels and types of practice

  • Small 13″
  • Medium 16″
  • Large 19″

I have not used my belt since.  Having the hoop already there to hook or grab on to makes for a better stretch session. It really does help to deepen the pose as well.  This morning I tried a standing bow pose first without the Infinity Strap and then with.

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You can see in the left picture my arms are lower, I am leaning more towards the window and so is my raised leg.  My alignment is better on the right along with my chest being more open increasing the bend in my upper back. My leg is higher giving a deeper stretch to the hip flexors as well.  I try not to think about what progress I have missed out earlier in my practice because I did not have one.

If you are thinking, “I don’t do yoga so this does not apply to me”, I must disagree with you.  If you do any type of sport where agility, flexibility and strength are a factor, you can benefit from using this product. The inventor, Amir Zaki, is not just a yogi but an avid surfer and tennis player as well. Here, let me show you other ways I use my strap…

Having trouble touching your toes?

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How about a little shoulder resistance workout:

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Do this 3×15-20 and you will feel it! There are so many ways you can incorporate this into your yoga or stretching routine.

I am considering buying a second one to keep at my desk for when I take my afternoon break.  I take 15-20 minutes to get up from my desk and stretch my hips and shoulders.  It really helps me get through that afternoon slump.

I highly suggest following their Instagram to get inspired.  While you are at it, come over and follow me too!

Do you have use an Infinity Strap? If so, do you love it as much as I love mine?  Are you considering purchasing one for yourself?

Aspire to Inspire~ finding your tribe

It has been a little over  three years now since I picked up blogging again.  This blog has been through three face lifts and I am happy with where it is going. However, I am still trying to find it’s voice.  Where does Four The Health Of It fit in on this massive blogosphere?  Back then, I was reading posts on S.I.T.S. Girls website looking for inspiration and how to be the best blogger ever! It was pretty overwhelming.  I was not looking to make this a business. I just wanted to get my stories out of my head!

So, what was this to become?  A running blog? I am a runner but races are not my thing.  So writing only about running made me feel like a phony. Who was I to talk about it when I was not putting up the miles like so many awesome bloggers I follow?

Strength training? Cardio? Yoga? Healthy recipes? Clean living?

One thing that I learned from S.I.T.S Girls was that blogger needs to find their tribe to be successful.

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Find your tribe. I believe this is true not just in blogging. If you have an interest and you surround yourself with like-minded people, several things happen:

  • You enjoy it more
  • You make new friends
  • You will be successful

Now, I don’t refer to success in a monetary connotation.  I mean it in a life changing, positive way.  My bestie started painting and is really good at it. Check out her FB page here. She has found her tribe full of other artists. I am happy that she has found this group because I can see that she is truly happy and loves what she is doing.  My sister joined a FB fitness group that is associated with #MyPeakChallenge. My sis is a huge inspiration to me.  And this group of hers? They push each other daily. She has made great progress in the past three months and new friends to inspire as well.

As for me? My tribe consists of a melting pot of greatness.  It consists of runners, crossfitters, yogis, fashionistas and SAHM’s.  Men and women who, through your blogs, FB pages and Instagram posts inspire me to push my self farther and harder then before.  I have met so many great people through challenges, my affiliations with SweatPink and BurnThis…. I am truly humbled by the support and advice that you all are so willing to give.  When I hear from someone telling me I inspire them? Well, that is the best feeling in the world!  That tells me I am where I should be.   This tribe.  This blog of total randomness.  This is where I belong. Thank you all for being a part of it!

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