Yoga in a Time of Zombies, Pt. 1

Cat Yoga HeadstandThere are so many obvious benefits that come from partaking in regular yoga practice — immediate (centeredness, mental clarity, improved breathing) and eventual (muscle development, flexibility and stability). From vinayasa to restorative, yoga is clearly one of the best things that a person can incorporate into their workout routines.

When thinking of yoga, though, I immediately fall victim to the Pinterest-perfect ideal  — the long, lithe figure, chill demeanor, and apartment completely free from pet dander. (You’ve seen the pins. You know what I’m talking about). More than eucalyptus or lavender aromatherapy, that particular idea of yoga instantly calms me down. I realize that this is a well-marketed image and not necessarily reality. Still, I can’t help but be sold on the idea.

This is usually where I start asking myself just how many asanas and savasanas I plan on doing in the zombie apocalypse, because the answer is probably not many. Gyms and studios will turn into sanctuaries and fitness equipment of all kinds will turn into weapons. Namaste what? All that we know now will be replaced by the need to survive.

That said, I’m beginning to wonder if I’ve tricked myself into thinking that partaking in mostly functional exercise is a most efficient way to prepare for the coming of the undead. I am more than aware that cross-training ups the ante on not just the physical, but largely the mental aspect of a workout. In either case, I’d really like my thighs to stop jiggling before civilization as we know it ceases to exist, and I’ve heard there’s a few flows for that.

What’s your favorite style of yoga? I’ve already a few options to explore and am looking forward to documenting them in this series. Topping my list is mastering pigeon pose, warrior series (especially the flow into warrior 3), and honestly just making and keeping the time to devote to practice.

Let the adventure begin, for as much time as we have left this side of turning.

Be sure to check out my zombie-tinged strength training series here:

Episode 5
Episode 4
Episode 3
Episode 2
Episode 1

Yes, You’ve Settled 

settled

“Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.” — Will Rogers

In 2001, I had a Samsung flip phone, a 5G iPod nano, and a Dell Inspiron laptop running a Windows XP operating system. That was all I could ask for, and as a struggling college student, it made more sense to hold onto what I had until it either snapped in half or melted enough AC adaptors to render it useless.

Soon after graduation, however, smart devices were experiencing a massive boom, so I decided to move onto something new. I totally could have got another flip phone, as they were and are still being manufactured. But for me, it was time for me to join the new and ultra-improved tech stream the whole world had found itself thrust into. And so I did, essentially trading three devices for one.

Now, new tech is one of those things that — while increasing exponentially — is at most everyone’s fingertips in the form of a smartphone. With constant release of new products, updates, and features, it can a challenge to keep up — but either you do, or you don’t. The choice, relatively, is yours.

This can apply to anything you can think of, from a film or music genre to a sex position. It’s great to know what you like — but being so sure runs the all-too real risk of being frozen in time. And not in a classic, timeless sense, either. More like a primitive relic.

I’ve been feeling this lately and have been making an effort to implement simple strategies to be more in tune with the outside world instead of humming along, ignorantly blissful within mine:

1. Listening to new music. This has probably has been the easiest and most accessible way to keep stay in the now, because — while I may question some of the latest trends in popular music — it gives me some insight into what is “hot” or “fresh”, therefore leaving me feeling somewhat hot and fresh. It’s also given me more insight into how my parents and other adults felt about Top 40 music when I was a teen during the late nineties. (Sorry, Mom and Pop.)

Today I stumbled upon Julia Michaels while reading an article from BBC that piqued my interest. A songwriter-turned-pop-artist, she reminded me a bit of Tove Lo, who I can’t get enough of. So I figured, why not give her a chance? Michaels’ debut mini-album “Nervous System” was released just this past Friday, and if you like pop music with a little twist, you’ll probably like this. (Saucy types, stick around for “Pink”.)

2. Reading articles from start to finish. Like, actually reading them and not merely reacting to a headline.

Cool story: I came across a Vanity Fair article on tonight’s Game of Thrones episode (look out for spoilers) and I had geared up to tell them off via Twitter based on my strong reaction to the headline via Google search. (I actually did, but deleted the tweet once I actually read the article. Oops.)

Say what??

Just saying, we’re all guilty of falling into sticky af clickbait and we should know better by now but, you know, we don’t.

3. Hanging out with people. Whether online or in-person (ideally the latter), social engagement is where the magic happens. Having turned 32 this year, I feel very “old” sometimes, and yeah, while not a teenager, my mind feels like me, which is as only old as I feel. And now the cliche phrase makes sense, whereas it used to be just words.

Sharing ideas, interests, coming to a common ground, etc. keeps the blood flowing to the appendages, as it were. Keeps the neurons alight and all that jazz. Going where people are may take a little effort, but more often than not, it’s worth it.

Don’t get me wrong: having that comfort feeling that makes you feel how you felt the first time doing anything is one of the best things out there. Like that cozy sleeping-in feeling on a rainy day, being comfortable is absolutely needed. Just remember that being too comfortable can run the risk of mental and emotional atrophy from staying in the same place for too long. 

Besides, new experiences are always out there, waiting for that first time feeling to be uncovered. Rarely will they be where you’ve been a million times before.

So get moving.

Strength Training for the Zombie Apocalypse, Ep. 4

So I’ve realized I’ve got a little time to kill before the humans start to turn and am going to hop on the vanity train for mile or two.

I’ve been alternating upper body and ab days with glute and leg days, throwing in HITT and LISS cardio where it fits. My upper body tends to show more progress sooner than other areas, yet I’ve noticed that my back and shoulders could use a little work (in comparison to my biceps, triceps, etc.).

My favorite upper body exercises tend to involve bodyweight strength progression (i.e. push up variations) — again, functionality over aesthetics. I will be incorporating more challenging bodyweight exercises to up the ante while achieving a more balanced look — i.e. tricep push ups, diamond push ups, pull ups, chin ups, and handstands…. probably in that order.

I just haaaaaaaate push ups in general, though. They’re not supposed to be easy. And maybe two sets of 12 reps is adequate at this time. I just have to learn to be patient with myself. The post-apocalyptic civilization won’t be built in a day.

Yesterday I did more back-centric exercises while not neglecting (shoulders, bis n’ tris) coupled with core work. Completed this bad boy below in 52 minutes and 6 seconds:

Am doing lower body today and will follow up with that routine later this week.

Check out previous episodes here:

Episode 3
Episode 2
Episode 1

What does your workout routine look like?

 

Accidentally Vegan: e.l.f. Makeup Brushes 

I ventured to Target the other day with the goal of upgrading my very low maintenance makeup game. As per usual, I ended up in the e.l.f. section to replace my favorite eyeliner pen when I happened upon their makeup brushes. Color me surprised when I saw this on the back of the package:

Vegan-friendly! This may not be news to beauty product aficionados but it is awesome news to me! Retailing at just $2 USD per brush, this is an excellent example of bringing on more cruelty-free products to the masses. In fact, I recently learned that e.l.f. cosmetics’ entire product line is, in fact, cruelty-free!

I’ve always loved e.l.f. cosmetics because their affordability allows more accessibility via less initial monetary investment. This quality coupled with their vast array of products makes experimenting with classic and modern makeup trends fun and so much less of a hassle. But it’s the extra step they’ve taken to be cruelty-free in at that elevates the brand even more for me!

Do you use e.l.f. cosmetics? What are some of your favorite beauty products? What does your daily makeup routine look like? Let’s chat in the comments!