Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Transform Your Life 30-Day Yoga Challenge

Have you always wanted to try Yoga? Or are you needing a fitness regimen that keeps you motivated through these Wintry months?

www.DoYogaWithMe.com is offering a free 30-day Yoga Challenge program that starts on January 1st! This challenge will include two options for participants- a beginner or intermediate class option.  My husband and I will be doing the challenge together so we will be participating in the beginner class challenge.  I'm really excited to kick off 2017 with a fun fitness challenge that I can do with my husband.  Participants can also enter to win a $200 Amazon gift card for sharing their progress via Instagram.  Follow my progress @poleharmony.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Pole Instructor Kirstie Tancock's Everlasting Legacy

Kirstie Tancock's Facebook page bio states she is a "Fitness pole dancing aerial hoop & silks instructor, PT, survivor of 2x double lung transplants." She is the owner and lead instructor at Xtreme Fitness in the United Kingdom. Kirstie was given the gift of life by being the recipient of two double lung transplants that she had resulting in her natural lungs being afflicted by Cystic Fibrosis. On December 1, 2016, Kirstie passed away from complications resulting from her transplants. I didn't know her when she was alive, I have only learned about her in her passing. Her story struck a chord with me as my history in the medical profession originated as an Organ Transplant Nurse. I spent many years taking care of pre and post operative lung transplant patients. I have seen the ups and downs of being a transplant patient. For Cystic Fibrosis patients, a lung transplant is always a strong consideration throughout their lives. They are told their entire lives that they will not live as long as their peers. Each and every year they are reminded that their time is limited. 

I first leaned about Kirstie when United Pole Artists posted a video clip of her in the hospital being visited by her pole idol Marion Crampe. It was a beautiful and heart warming video of seeing their embrace. I have stood on the sidelines a lot in patient's rooms and have seen scenes play out much like this one time and time again. It is a tough reminder that life isn't fair and that so many young and full of life people are taken from us far too soon.

Kirstie wanted to leave a legacy in her passing. She fought to change laws in her country regarding organ donation. As I write this, there is currently a campaign calling for Kirstie's Law which will put in place an opt-out system for organ donation in England. In Kirstie's honor, her husband and family have devoted their efforts to seeing this law becomes part of Kirstie's everlasting legacy for the lives of those awaiting transplants throughout England. 

To follow Kirstie's family in their work to preserve her legacy, check out her Facebook page which is now run by her husband.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Low Energy December?

It's December and I've been feeling low energy lately.  This time of the year can be exhausting with the holiday stress or the changing of the season to bitter cold mornings that make it difficult to get out of your warm and cozy bed.  Whatever is going on in your life, it's important to keep your own well being on that check list as you get through this season. 

This time of year is not only a time of year where many cultures celebrate the release of the going year and welcome the prospects of the new year, it is also a time of reflection.  This past year hasn't been very productive for me in regards to my fitness goals compared to years passed.  I've had some personal medical issues I've been dealing with that have taken most of my financial resources, time, and energy.  I'm feeling the effects of a frustrating and exhausting year all coming at me as I'm preparing to wrap up 2016.  Needless to say, the past two years have beaten me down and that once positive and optimistic former self is dwindling to a shadow of my former self. Being a frequent patient in the medical world will do that to you. The moments of uncertainty are both physically and mentally exhausting. 

I've decided to make my December reflection a time to focus on renewing my energy.  Regaining my strength both physically and mentally as I continue on this journey I have been unwillingly thrust upon. Some things I'm going to take in account and try to implement as Winter approaches include the following:

1. Getting plenty of rest.  The holiday season leaves many prone to sleep loss from stress or activities that keep one from sticking to their regular sleep schedule.  This time of year is also flu season.  If you're feeling run down, always listen to your body and give yourself needed rest.

2. Drink plenty of water.  If you're feeling drained in the morning, make sure to drink some water.  Holiday foods are full of salt and sugars which can lead to a state of dehydration.  Re-hydrate and feel re-energized.

3. Eat more fruits and veggies.  This time of the year has American diets on carb overload.  Be sure to maintain a balanced diet of fruits and vegetables for all the essential vitamins and minerals all those holiday treats are lacking.

4. Stick to your fitness routine.  As hard as it may be when your energy is low, it's important to stick to a form of a workout routine.  Incorporate low impact exercises into your routine.  Yoga is an excellent workout as it works well for all levels of fitness. 

5.  Aromatherapy.  I talked about oil diffuser blends in a blog piece I wrote over the summer that I found were great at giving me the energy boost for my pole workouts.  My favorite essential oil diffuser blend was oranges or a mix of orange and peppermint.  If you're searching for energy boosting diffuser blends, you'll often see pinterest recipes recommending citrus and mint oils.  Either being appropriate for the holiday season.

6. Dealing with stress.  Stress can be exhausting.  Dealing with it in ways that help you alleviate the effects can make you feel refreshed and maintain a sense of peace as you embark on your holiday adventures.  Meditation is great for calming your mind and bringing your body, mind, and spirit back into a healthy balance.  One form of meditation I have recently begun to enjoy consists of using a Tibetan Singing Bowl.  I've been playing my bowl before and after Yoga practices.  I've found the bowl allows me to focus my mind to the present and bring me to an awareness that I need to be in for my practice.  If you're not able to attend Yoga classes, you can always do at home classes.  I really enjoy participating in www.DoYogaWithMe.com 's classes from the comfort of my own home.  If you're strapped for time, this is an ideal solution for you to do yoga anywhere at anytime. 

These were just a few things I have decided to implement.  I will keep you all posted as how they have helped as I go about my mission for natural energy boosting.  Let me know if there's anything you have found to help you get through these colder days of Fall and Winter's holiday stress.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

December Aerial, Pole, and Yoga Challenges 2016

It's December! I'm ready to wrap up this year with another month of amazing pole and aerial challenges! My friend Heather has created a #MerryAerialistChallenge via @suspendedanimationaerials using the Lyra aka Aerial Hoop apparatus.  Check out the list below for all the fitness fun going on this December.

Lyra/Aerial Hoop

Announcing the December 2016 Lyra Challenge! #MerryAerialistChallenge . Why should the yogis and polers have all of the fun? It’s time for a daily pose challenge for aerialists on lyra! All poses are basic ones, but new aerial poses should be attempted ONLY with proper instruction and safety equipment. No instruction will be given here. A pose name and photo will be shared. If you are not sure how to execute a pose, please check with your local aerial instructor for guidance. . Our sponsors @AerialEssentials and @aktiveda were excited to get involved! Make sure to follow them in addition to the hosts @SuspendedAnimationAerials, @lisasangi, and @circusinspiration. . Two winners will be chosen randomly to receive a prize from @aktiveda or @AerialEssentials. @aktiveda is giving a pair of custom leggings! Note, images of unsafe practices will be disqualified. . . How to participate: . 1. Follow @SuspendedAnimationAerials, @AerialEssentials, @aktiveda, @circusinspiration, and @lisasangi. 2. Repost this image by taking a screen shot or use a repost app. 3. Share your training of the daily poses. Combos and alternate shapes are welcome! 4. Unsafe training (rigging from trees, lack of mats, etc) will disqualify entries from winning. BE SAFE! 5. Include the hash tag #MerryAerialistChallenge in your posts and mention hosts and sponsors (**accounts must be public to win**) 6. Be supportive and leave “likes” and comments on the posts of other challenge participants! 7. HAVE FUN!
A photo posted by Suspended Animation (@suspendedanimationaerials) on

Pole Fitness

Don't forget: REPOST THIS TO QUALIFY 🍭Monday, Dec 5th. I’ll be starting my #sv12daysofxmas Pole dance challenge! I had a blast doing the Oct challenge with you all and wanted to do another. This challenge is suitable for all levels so everyone has a chance to WIN. I'll provide alternatives for more challenging moves ⛄One random participant will win a pair of amazing leggings from our lovely sponsor @Kupmykakez and a 1 hour private online session with me, Veena! That’s over 100 dollar value! ⛄ The day before I'll post a video demonstrating each day! I’ll be adding onto the day before, (like the song for 12 days of christmas πŸŽ„) by the end of the 12th day we’ll put all combos together to creating a little routine! If you woukd like to see the full routine head to studioveena.com I've posted it there! As always just do your best, not looking for perfection, just participation. Here’s how to qualify: 1 ❄Follow @studioveena and @kupmykakez 2 ❄ Re-post and share THIS photo 3 ❄Tag friends who might want to play 3 ❄Tag your daily #sv12daysofxmas posts to @studioveena and @Kupmykakez so we can enjoy your hard work! 4 ❄Post daily 5 ❄IG profile must be public Have fun with it and feel free to wear holiday wear! ⛄πŸŽ„❄#studioveena #veena #poledance #pole #polefitness #poledancing #poletricks #polecombo #polersofinstagram #unitedbypole #yoga #pole #exoticpole #poledancer #polechallenge #holiday #polersofig #kmks #kupmykakez
A photo posted by www.studioveena.com (@studioveena) on
Let's keep winter sexy and fun! VAMPS is hosting an Instagram #polechallenge with some great prizes! It's easy to participate and the perfect way to keep warm as the weather gets a little colder ❄️ Participant rules: 1. Follow VAMPSDance on Instagram 2. Repost the challenge on your Instagram page 3. Post a video or pic of the daily move for each day 4. Tag @VAMPSDance in all posts 5. Hashtag #VAMPSDance and #VAMPSDanceHolidayChallenge on all posts. We will post a video or pic of each move the night before! Posts can be a variation, or attempt at a move, it doesn't have to be perfect. We just want to see you try and have fun! Comment below if you have questions! #Poledancers #atxpolers #austin #winstuff #fitness #newyearsresolutions #holidaychallenge #holidays #whatiwantforxmas #polefitness #polechallenge #december #dancelife #polelife #eastaustin #VAMPSDanceHolidayChallenge #poleclasses #instapolers #polersofinstagram #austinpolers #austinpoledancers #danceclasses
A photo posted by VAMPSdance (@vampsdance) on


#Repost @earthyogia with @repostapp ・・・ πŸŽ…πŸ»πŸŽ„πŸ’š❤️ It's finally around the corner... Christmas that is!!! I am so excited, this is one of my favorite holidays!! So @elysianyogi and myself, @earthyogia , are even more excited to bring you the #VeryMerryYogis 12 Days of Yoga Christmas Countdown #yogachallenge Dec. 13th-24th ❤️πŸŽ„πŸ’šπŸŽ…πŸ» We are already in the gift giving spirit and want to give you a chance to win a new prize everyday of the challenge, and at the end we have a few more gifts to give awayπŸ˜‰πŸŽ…πŸ»πŸŽ„❤️πŸ’š To be eligible for daily prizes you have to post your post that day by midnight!! Winners will be announced in the morning that follows❤️πŸ’šπŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸ» πŸ’š❤️πŸ™Special thanks to all our incredibly generous sponsors for making this challenge happen for us!!πŸ™❤️πŸ’š @thirdeyetapestries @youphoria_aromatics @handpaintedyoga @mymatmymantra @yogiearthwear @healingmalas @aloetteofc3 @rxcannacare @helixrising @kurmayoga @bohemianleggingsboutique @namaste_collective @sports_and_the_city @youphoriayoga @polarbottle @namascray @llamaste_inc @yogapaws @glitterzen @plexus.co ❤️πŸ’šπŸŽ…πŸ»πŸŽ„ Pose List: Day 1 - Partridge Pose aka Kapinjalasana Day 2 - Bird of Paradise Pose Day 3 - Crow/Crane Pose Day 4 - Flamingo Pose Day 5 - Wheel Pose Day 6 - Extended Puppy Pose Day 7 - Pigeon Pose Day 8 - Cowface Pose Day 9 - Dancer Pose Day 10 - Warrior 3 Pose Day 11 - Heron Pose Day 12 - Extended Child's Pose πŸ’š❤️πŸŽ…πŸ»πŸŽ„ To be Eligible for Prizes: 1) FOLLOW ALL Sponsors. We will checkπŸ™πŸ’–πŸ‘ŒπŸ‘ 2) FOLLOW and TAG BOTH Hosts in your posts @earthyogia @elysianyogi 3) Be sure that your profile is public so we can see your pictures. 4)Use the Hashtag #VeryMerryYogis in your daily posts and please repost this flyer and tag a friend or 3πŸ˜„ 5) Have Fun and Be MerryπŸ’š❤️ @igyogachallenges @yogachallengeworld @yoga_challenges #igyogachallenge #christmasyoga #christmasyogachallenge #yoga #igyoga #igyogacommunity #igyogafamily #yogachallenge #yogichristmas #igyogachallenges #yogalove #yogajourney #instayoga #yogafun #winteryoga #sponsorlove #yogagiveaway #giveaway #merryyogis #giveaways #12daysoffun #yogapants #yogagirl #beconnected #beamazingeveryday
A photo posted by Michelle Benge (@myjourneywithinyogi) on