Category Archives: spinning

HEALTHY BODY, HEALTHY MIND, HAPPY HOLIDAYS

I haven’t written in a while but have not had a lot to write about. This is a good thing actually because it means that things in my life are relativity in balance. The point of this blog is to tell my story about MCTD but that story is very much the same day after day. I’m at 217 days without a flare which is wonderful and I’m very grateful that my body is feeling good. I am still working out every single day whether it means walking, spinning, or weight training. My yoga practice is a daily adventure whether it is my own practice, preparing for yoga classes, or teaching. My body is strong and most days I feel like my mind is strong. However, this time of year the days are short and it is dark when I go to work and it is dark when I get home. This time of year can be stressful for some people and even bring on depression. We are rushing from place to place, trying to prepare for events, eating and drinking more than we might normally, sleeping less than our bodies need and feeling the stress throughout our bodies and minds. Many people are rushing around so much that their immune systems wear out and illness takes over. I live with MCTD therefore I have a “super-immune system” I don’t worry about the common cold or flu. I don’t worry about picking up germs from the places I go. I enter a gym atmosphere nearly every day, which other than an airport might be one of the germiest places on earth. What I worry about is running my body too hard and putting myself into flare.

This time of year we must make choices, and they won’t all be easy. I thought I would write about some of the things I do in order to stay flare-up free during the holidays and winter months. I am not saying I don’t or won’t flare during the holidays or winter months but I try to keep things quiet in order to stay flare-up free for as long as possible. In Maine our winter started several weeks ago and will take us into April. It is long, it is cold, it is hard to endure sometimes. The way I get through this time is simply one day at a day time. Each day when I wake I take inventory of how I am feeling and then decide what my body needs. I will do something every day even on days I wake up a with some fatigue. I can always walk, as long as my legs will move, I can walk. I find some days it is actually easier to walk than to do yoga. Even if I choose restorative yoga because my body doesn’t always want to bend and move in certain postures.

This time of year we are invited to many events as most of you are, until I was diagnosed with MCTD I rarely said no to things even when I should have. For the last 13 years I say yes to the things that most important to me and my husband. Our families will always be high on the list and if I can help it we do not turn down family events. I also choose 1 evening event a week, this way I’m not out late 2 nights a week. We may do something Friday night and something Sunday during the day but not two late nights. This ensures that my body receives the adequate rest and sleep that it needs. I’m not hyper vigilante about what I eat this time of year except that I make stuff I really want. On Dec 26th that is when I go back to being hyper vigilante with my eating and drinking and let my body fully recover. By New Year’s I am not looking to go out or make resolutions I’m looking to start my new year fresh, clean and re-offer my body everything it needs. Think of it as a back to body basics cleanse.

I meditate a lot this time year. I take minutes in the morning to reflect on the day ahead and things I might have done differently yesterday. Not with anger, or regret, but as ways to learn and do better today. I take minutes to watch my thoughts, make my thoughts cleaner, and notice days when I really don’t have a lot of thoughts. I take this time for me, the time in my life that truly belongs to me, not my family, not my work, not my yoga, not my trainer, not my spin instructor, truly just me, only me. Minutes, not several minutes or an hour, minutes in my day.

This holiday season is going to look different to each and every person, but my goal in this holiday season is to capture the joy, love, peace and calm that it brings. Happy Holidays to all.

CHECKING BACK IN

I have not been paying much attention to my blog lately other than weekly check in with steps but the truth is my MCTD is pretty quiet so I haven’t had much to discuss recently. I am not complaining about a dormant MCTD but I do think it is time to do a full check and reconnect.

I am at 242 days without a flare and with the extremely mild winter that Maine has had this year I have not even suffered from Raynaud’s much either.  My fingers are feeling much better and using the compound seems to have helped the issues I had over the summer.  I have to see the doctor again and have updated X-rays done to see if the calcium deposits are really smaller or gone but my fingers in general really feel much better.

As many of you know I am completely committed to my yoga practice and teaching these days so although my steps are right where they need to be I am not focusing on walking, spinning, or other cardio activities as much right now.  I am in the yoga studio or at home doing yoga every day and that takes a lot of time.  I was listening to a podcast the other day that said don’t let hobbies get in the way of people, relationships and family.  I think my husband would whole heartily agree with that statement but also realizes that I need to take this time now to establish myself as a yoga instructor so I can do more with it in my future and see where this may take me.  I love teaching, I love learning and I love doing yoga so all in all it was the best decision for me to make at this time in my life.

I do hope to find a nice balance between my yoga, cardio, weight training and of course my family and friends.  If only I could get my husband to join me in doing yoga I would be able to spend time with him while we did yoga but that is not likely for at least for the near future.  Perhaps as we move forward into our mid-lives it will inspire him to stay flexible and work on yoga for his body and mind.  Speaking of mind, my meditation practice is dialed and do get a few moments every day to sit quietly and just breathe.  There has been some research recently that states that a daily meditation practice could help with autoimmune diseases and chronic pain.  Find ways to relieve stress and finding ways to ensure that I don’t get over fatigued greatly helps with my MCTD and chronic pain, therefore, meditation is a great tool for both of those things.

With 242 days behind me I forget that I even have MCTD some days but I am also not new to having a long stretch being flare-up free and then having that flare that takes me back to zero.  I half expect it any day but I also don’t expect it to ever come again.  As we age and our hormones change that can also help with reducing the frequency of flares, good sleep, moderate eating, reducing stress, mindful activity, giving and receiving love and peace all help in managing the symptoms of autoimmune diseases.

I look forward to my next doctor appoint to see where my numbers are and what my X-rays look like and can make adjustments from there, but until then I will continue to do what I do and hope for many more flare up free days.

WEEKLY STATS

This is the start of a brand new month and I’m so surprised that a full month in 2016 is already over. I am behind on my stats so this will have 2 weeks of information.  I have increased my yoga to nearly 4 hours every single day except for Saturday and Sunday when I’m doing even more.  My body is felling good and I’m 220 days without a flare but I also have not had a lot of time for other things.  I’m weight training but only once per week and yes I make time for at least that 1 time per week. I wish it were more so I’m starting to incorporate light weights into my yoga routines.  This is just for me not the classes I teach nor do I tell my students I’m doing this as there is so much strength building in yoga already but I feel like I need some added weights.  I have 3 and 5 lbs weights I do during standing sequencing since it is not easy to chaturanga dandasana with weights in your hand so I have also been exploring weighted gloves so I don’t actually have to hold anything in my palms.

 

Weekly stats from 2 weeks ago

Weekly – 74,113

Daily – 10,588

Miles – 28.87

Floors – 122

 

Weekly stats from last week

Weekly – 80,121

Daily – 11,446

Miles – 31.15

Floors – 154

 

I also received the astronaut badge from Fibit last week as I reached 28,000 floors. They add up day after day, week after week, year after year.

WEEKLY STATS

This week came as total surprise to me in terms of my total steps as I was so focused on yoga that I wasn’t thinking about any other forms of exercise but my weight training and a little bit of spinning.  Over the weekend it felt like I was barely moving except when I was doing my several hours of yoga.  I am pleased that normal life activity shows I’m moving even if I’m not focused on exercise in the true form of the word.

 

Weekly – 85,199

Daily – 12,171

Miles – 33.33

Floors – 181

WEEKLY STATS

As you can see by my stats I have increased my walking activity to 10k steps a day.  I am having a hard time balancing the hours of yoga needed for teaching with the activity that my body and mind desire in the form of walking, spinning and weight training.  I have started my mornings a little early in order to fit in some cardio or weight training before my yoga.  As I make this change I still need to be very conscience of the time I need for real sleep and rest.  Life is a balancing act and sometimes I have it dialed and sometimes life shifts and I get a little unbalanced. I am honestly feeling a little unbalanced right now but I love teaching yoga so much and not willing to give up that part.  As winter gets here and things slow down in my real career I will find those moments of enjoying life in a balanced manner.  Good news is that I’m still weight training and actually had my session first thing this morning so that is out of the way and able to teach yoga this afternoon so both are getting accomplished today.

 

Weekly – 76, 741

Daily – 10,963

Miles – 29.82

Floors – 193

 

Hope you are all continuing to survive the holiday season and find your own balance in life.

MORE NERVOUS THAN THE FIRST TIME

Now that I have taught a couple of yoga classes I find that I’m more nervous in than the first time.  I think because my first class went so well that I created an expectation for myself that I can always do that well and maybe I can but reality is that I will have classes that leave there thinking what did I just do to those poor people Thankfully this weekend was not one of those moments.  I tried to put together a sequence that was restorative but challenging at the same time and believe I was successful in doing so.  I thought I was doing a lot of yoga before I started teaching, now I’m doing even more because I want to be able to practice my sequences before teaching them.  I’m not reading from note cards but I certainly have a rehearsed sequence that I am using and know very well so that if I need to be modify in any way for any students I can do so.

Everyone comes to yoga class for their own personal reasons and set on their own personal journeys.  It might be my sequence that I’m guiding but it is their practice and their exploration.  The more I do this the more I realize this has nothing to do with me and everything to do with them.  I’m on a new journey and a new path of teaching yoga but honestly I’m there to make sure their alignment and form is correct and safe, their bodies are going to tell them where to go, that is beautiful in so many ways.  This path is leading me to great inner peace and health.

My spinning and walking are activities that I enjoy doing and need that time for myself as I explore what my own body can do on and off the mat.

Weekly Total – 96,330

Daily – 13,761

Miles – 38.13

Floors – 165