At Home Yoga

I’m sharing all about at home yoga today in this post.

I got to enjoy a long weekend in Canada in honor of Victoria Day yesterday. While the extra day off didn’t really mean much to me since I’m not going into work these days, it was nice to have an “extra” slower paced day. We ended up barbecuing sausages. The Victoria Day long weekend in the unofficial kick off to the summer here, so it felt appropriate to cook outdoors. There’s just something about barbecuing food (no matter what it is) that makes it taste better. I hope that you all were able to enjoy your weekend too.

Yoga studios are still closed here in Calgary to facilitate social distancing. Studios and gyms will be some of the last things to open up, so it’s safe to say that at home yoga will be a thing for awhile still, at least where I live. I’m sharing some tips and ideas to help you get your at home yoga groove on in today’s post. You also may be interested in post about starting an at home yoga practice.

Equipment

While it might seem like you need a yoga mat, that’s not necessarily the case when it comes to yoga. If you’re doing a yoga nidra class you’d probably be more comfortable lying on a blanket. For a yoga practice that requires more movement I would suggest practicing on something that you won’t slide around on, like a yoga mat (affiliate link).

If you have props that’s great (I think a pair of blocks, a strap, blanket, and bolster is a great start). But you can also use things that you have around the house if you don’t have props. Sub in blankets or a pillow for a bolster. Use a big, heavy books for a block. Even take advantage of the wall if that’s helpful for you. I like to use the wall for balancing poses as well as inversions.

Space

While it might be tempting to want to practice yoga in a space that’s as nice as a yoga studio, I don’t think many of us have access to a space like that at home. A bedroom, living room, deck, or backyard can all work for practicing yoga. I would suggest having it as quiet and distraction free as possible. I know that can be a challenge though when the whole family is at home with you. Work with what you have. It doesn’t have to be perfect.

You’ll need enough space to lay out your yoga mat. I find that I also need a few feet on the long edges of the mat and a foot or two along the short edges of my mat. If you’ll be following a class online, you’ll also need to have a computer, tablet, or phone nearby as well.

The poses

In terms of what your practice should actually look like, you have lots of options to cheese from. Many of my local yoga studios here in Calgary have been offering online classes. There’s something very comforting in the middle of this time of upheaval to do a class with one of my favorite teachers. It feels so “normal” right now, even if I’m doing it at home instead of at the studio.

Lots of online yoga teachers are also upping their game and offering more classes. If you already follow some on social media, check out the links in their bio to see what they’re currently offering.

Weekly Workouts October 16 to 22 2016

There are also lots of options on YouTube. Check out some of my favorite yoga classes on YouTube. Whether you’re in the mood for a sweaty vinyasa class or a slower restorative class, you’re a beginner or a more seasoned yoga student, you can find something just for you. In addition to YouTube, there are also lots of yoga subscription sites to pick from too. YogaDownload.com (affiliate link) is a great option. I actually had a membership a few years ago and really enjoyed it. Glo, Gaia, and Yoga International are all great options too.

Do you have an at home yoga practice? Do you think you’ll start one since in person classes at studios aren’t happening right now?

This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting my blog – I appreciate it!

Friday Favorites: Final Season + A Convenient Service

I’m sharing a few things that have made me happy from the past week. They include the last season of a show I’ve been enjoying, a new to me service I’ve used a few times, and a really good book. Read on to find out my Friday favorites.

Another week is over and done and the weekend is here! Things are still feeling very different in my part of the world. But this past week has felt like the most “new normal” one yet. I think part of it is because social distancing and the new ways of doing things are becoming more habit now. If I have to leave the house to pick up my grocery order I make sure I have a mask and hand sanitizer with me. I’ve been doing at home workouts instead of going to the gym. Some restrictions were lifted in my province, but quite a few still remain in my city because it’s a hot spot still.

Once again, I’m so grateful for the essential workers out there, making sure people are being cared for in health care settings, making sure we have access to food, and doing all of the other things that need to be done everyday. Your hard work is so, so appreciated. Thank you.

Today I’m sharing a few things that I’ve enjoyed this week. It seems kind of silly sometimes to highlight the little things that make me happy or bring me joy. Sometimes you have to focus on the good when there’s so much else going on in the world.

Season 8 of Homeland

I just recently finished watching the first 7 seasons of Homeland on Netflix. It took me a couple months to finish the first season. I got hooked by the end of the second season and I binge watched the rest of it. Admittedly I was a bit bummed when I saw that season 8 wasn’t on Netflix yet. I decided to cave and buy it though so that I could finish it off and enjoy the last season while the rest of the series was still fresh in my mind. I’m two episodes in and I’m really enjoying it.

Even though I went through seasons 2 to 7 really quick, I’m trying to enjoy season 8 for as long as I can and only watch one episode per day. It’s tough to do but I’ll be so sad when it’s all over because I really enjoyed Homeland. It’s one of those shows that you get sucked into with the characters and story lines. If you’re looking for a new binge worthy show to watch make sure you add Homeland to your list.

Grocery order pick up

I’ve used a grocery order pick up service a couple times now. I was a bit skeptical about how well it would work, but to be honest it’s been better than I expected it to be.

With the stores near me you either use their website or app to add things to your cart, select a window to pick up your order, and then show up at your time to one of the designated parking spots. I’ve been very lucky that I’ve only had to wait 2 days or less for a pick up time. I know it’s been longer in other places. Once I show up I call the store to let them know that I’m there. I’ve also checked in on the app and within a few minutes an employee is bringing out my order. I have my trunk open and they load the groceries right in. Once they head back to the store I can close the trunk door and I’m on my way.

If something I had in my order isn’t available at the store then they email me to let me know. It’s only after the order is picked and they know what they have that they charge my credit card. For anything that they didn’t have in store, I’m not charged for.

The last time I ordered I decided to get some produce. I was a bit nervous about it, but for the most part it went pretty well. If you’re feeling hesitant to try getting fresh food with order pick up I would encourage you to give it a try. It was well worth it for me to avoid a trip to the grocery store. Even if it would have been a small/short trip there just to get produce. I figure the fewer people in the stores, the better it is for everyone.

Between Sisters

I started reading a new book a few days ago and I’m already really enjoying it. Between Sisters (affiliate link) by Kristin Hannah was recommended to me by someone on Instagram. I can’t remember who it was, but if it was you, thank you!

Here’s the synopsis from Goodreads:

We all make mistakes, but for Meghann Dontess the terrible choice she made some years ago cost her everything, including the love of her sister, Claire. Meghann is now a highly successful attorney, and has put all thoughts of love completely behind her – until she meets the one man who believes he can change her mind.

Claire has fallen in love for the first time in her life, and as her wedding day approaches she prepares to face her strong-willed older sister. Reunited after two decades, these two women who believe they have nothing in common will try to become what they never were: a family.

If you’re looking for a few books to read, make sure you check out my books page. I share all of the books that I’ve liked over there.

What was a favorite thing of yours from the past week? Tell me about one of your Friday favorites in the comments below.

This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting my blog, I really appreciate it!

90’s Workout Playlist

I’m sharing a brand new 90’s workout playlist today. It includes songs by Marky Mark, Britney Spears, Nsync, and Destiny’s Child.

I have to admit that I had a lot of fun putting this playlist together yesterday. I honestly think that I enjoy these songs a lot more now as throwbacks than I did in the 90’s when they were new. They remind me a lot of elementary school and junior high. I’m pretty sure the very first tape I had was an MC Hammer one. My mom bought it for me for my birthday. I listened to that thing non-stop. In my bright yellow Sony walkman. Did anyone else have one of those? They were the coolest thing to have at my school.

You can find this 90’s workout playlist on Spotify. I love using Spotify because it’s with me everywhere I have my phone. I’m also able to download playlists since I’m a subscriber so I don’t have to worry going over on my data.

I remember listening to so many of these songs back in the day. Some of them like Better Off Alone and Where Do You Go were from the very first parties I went to – when basements without parents around were the coolest. My friends and I thought it meant that we were so mature to be able to be down there without anyone watching us while we danced.

Backstreet Boys, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, and Nsync were huge when I was in junior high. I actually didn’t listen to any of them very much back then (I was more into alternative), but I definitely do enjoy them every once in awhile now.

I very specifically remember listening to Cotton Eye Joe on a plane going to California one summer to go visit my cousins. How do I remember details like that for decades but I can’t remember actual useful information? I have no idea.

If you’re on the hunt for some more workout playlists be sure to check out my playlist page. All of the ones that I’ve shared on Get Fit Fiona are there for your listening pleasure. I have the links to Spotify to a lot of the playlists so it’s super easy to make sure you have some great music to workout to at home.

What was your first record/tape/CD? I’d love to hear what it was! What’s a favorite song you would put on a 90’s workout playlist?

Full Body Strength Workout

Today I’m sharing a full body strength workout for you to do at home.

Happy hump day – even though days don’t really have much meaning for me right now. They all kind of feel the same at the moment. It’s tough to keep track of what day it is when everything is so different than how it was a few months ago.

I got out of the house for a little bit yesterday. It felt to weird to be outside on a sidewalk. And even wearing real shoes instead of my slippers felt strange. I never thought that those two things would feel anything other than normal just a few months ago. Wearing masks is starting to feel normal these days.

I’m bringing you a full body strength workout today that you can do at home with a few pieces of equipment. Not feeling the strength workout today? Or looking for something more specific? You can find all of the workouts that I’ve shared on Get Fit Fiona on my workouts page.

You’ll need some dumbbells or cans or even full water bottles. Use what you have available! I like these dumbbells (affiliate link) from Amazon. For weights I tend to go heavier with lower body exercises and lighter with upper body ones.

As for the details of this workout, you’ll do each exercise for 12 reps x 4 sets, resting for 2 minutes between each set before moving onto the next exercise on the list. It might not look like a very long workouts but with the longer rests between each set it should take a solid chunk of time.

I didn’t add any specific weights to use for this workout because it will look different for each person. Choose a weight that is challenging for you but also allows you to complete each rep with correct form. It’s not worth getting hurt over. If in doubt use a lighter weight.

Dumbbell squats

With feet hip width apart and dumbbells in your hands at your sides, use the glutes to lower your hips back and down while bending at the knees and ankles. Once you’ve reached the lowest position you can without leaning forward too much or letting the knees collapse in, return to a standing position, again using your glutes to propel yourself.

Chest press

With a dumbbell in each hand, lay down on a bench or the floor. Your upper arm should be at a 90 degree angle to your torso and your hands directly over your elbows. Move the dumbbells up while they come above your chest. With control move them back down to the starting position. 

Dumbbell deadlift

With a dumbbell in each hand, stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Slowly bend forward at the hips, letting your arms hang down and keeping your back straight. Using your glutes, lift your torso back up to the starting standing position. 

Overhead press

Stand with your feet hip width apart with a dumbbell in each hand. With your upper arms in a 90 degree angle to your torso and your hands directly above your elbows, lift your hands straight up so that your arms are straight above your head. Slowly lower your hands back down to the starting position. 

Weighted lunges

Stand with feet hip width apart with a dumbbell in each hand. Step forward with one foot so that the front leg’s thigh is parallel to the ground, and the back leg’s shin is parallel to the ground. The back knee shouldn’t touch the floor. Use your quads and glutes to step the front foot back towards your back foot and end by standing straight up with feet hip width apart again. For the second lunge step forward with the other foot. Continue alternating legs for the entire 30 seconds.

Bicep curls

Start with the feet hip width apart, and back in a neutral position. With a dumbbell in each hand, keep your elbows in close to your side and raise the dumbbell upwards. Movement should be at the elbow, not the wrist. Lower the dumbbell with a controlled movement, not allowing gravity to take over.

What does your “new normal” look like for you? Favorite strength exercise?

As always, talk to your doctor before working out. Honor your body and modify this workout as needed for you.

This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting my blog – I appreciate it!

Self Care Ideas

I’m sharing some of my favorite self care ideas in today’s post.

If you’re feeling as stressed and anxious as I am these days, you’ll know how important self care is. With so much unknown and how much things have changed, it’s so important for me to be kind to myself. I find that it’s a lot easier to have compassion for other people than it is to show that same compassion to myself. That’s where self care comes in.

Taking the time to do something good for myself always makes me feel better. In today’s post I’m sharing some self care ideas that work for me. Hopefully you’ll find something that can work for you too. Let me know in the comments below how you practice self care.

Workout

You know that this had to be one of my self care ideas, right? Workouts always make me feel better, whether that’s taking a Group Power class at the gym (I’m really missing them right now, BTW) or a walk in my favorite park by the river. There’s something about working out and knowing that I’m doing something good for my body as well as some stress relief that makes me feel better afterwards.

What works for someone else may not work for you. Make sure you find the workout that’s right for you. I don’t think I’ll ever be a runner, but take me to a strength training group fitness class and I’m in my element. It’s okay if it takes some time to find the right fit. It’ll be so worth it when you find the physical activity that feels the best for you.

Read

Being a big reader, I can’t say enough about how much reading relaxes me and gives me a break from my everyday life. There’s something so magical for me to be able to sit down with a book and be transported off to a time, place, or life that’s so different from mine. Whether it’s getting lost in a historical fiction novel or reading about someone who has a life completely different from mine, I really enjoy getting to experience something different.

If you’re interested in the books that I’ve enjoyed lately, you can find my favorite books on my books page. Lately I’ve really been enjoying books by Tatiana de Rosnay and Elin Hilderbrand.

I know it can be tough to get out to a bookstore right now (they’re not even open right now where I live), but there are other options. Check to see if your library has ebooks. I’ve been using Libby for years now and absolutely love it. I can borrow all the ebooks I want with my library card. If you have a Prime membership you can also read some Kindle books Prime Reading. I’ve also used Scribd (which is paid) to read ebooks and I’ve really liked it as well.

Yoga

I’ve found yoga to be another thing that I enjoyed a lot before social distancing and now has become even more important to me. I think just about everyone is feeling extra stressed out, worried, and anxious right now. Yoga has been a huge stress reliever for me. It’s tough for me to be present and in the moment when there’s so much unknown in the world. It’s hard to know what things will look like in a few weeks let alone in a few months. Yoga is one of those things that forces me to slow down, be present, breathe, and just be.

Lots of my local yoga studios are offering virtual options. If you’re able to, I’m sure that they would really appreciate your support right now. I’ve done some classes with a few of my favorite teachers. It’s so nice to be able to practice with them. So much from the sound of their voice to their cheesy jokes are so reassuring right now. A little piece of “normal” in this strange and uncertain time.

There are also lots and lots of online yoga options, including on YouTube and various yoga streaming sites. There’s so much variety that you can find exactly what you’re looking for, whether that’s a fast paced sweaty vinyasa class, a mindful yin class, or even a yoga nidra class with lots of props.

Make a favorite meal

If you’re able to get the ingredients to make your favorite meal, I highly recommend you do it. So much is different right now compared to “normal”. Anytime I can get some normalcy back into my days it feels good. That includes in the kitchen with what I’m eating.

A few of my favorite things to eat are reuben sandwiches, pasta and meatballs, and curry. Making those meals and eating them feels so good right now. I feel like there’s so much that’s out of my control. Being able to decide what I eat right now is comforting. Even more so when it’s something that I love.

Meditate

Lately I’ve been listening to meditations on Insight Timer when I fall asleep at night. Nighttime is when I tend to struggle with anxiety the most. It’s tough to fall asleep when all I can think about is what I’m worried about. That’s where meditation comes in.

Using the Headspace App to Meditate

If I put on a meditation then I’m able to focus on something that’s relaxing and holds my attention. At the same time it’s not interesting to keep myself awake like a podcast. It’s a find line between being a distraction but not too exciting.

If you’re looking for some more detailed information on meditation, I’ve written a few posts about it that you can find here, here, and here.

How do you take care of yourself? Leave some of your self care ideas in the comments below.