From Ganja Yoga to Get-It-Girl Fitness – Exercise Trends We Tried in 2010

It’s that time of the year again, when health sites roll out the resolution wagon and shake our fingers in front of your face while making declarations about the importance of healthy eating and getting your hindquarters out of 1st gear. That’s when you pull out the usual resolutions about working out and losing weight and place them inside the wagon. According to statistics, most of you will pull that resolution wagon around for about week, and then kick it to the curb, retrieving it only when a new fitness fad trends up.

I say to that, me too.

Here are some of the fitness fads from 2010. I didn’t try all of them, but boy did they seem interesting.

Ganja Yoga:Yoga and marijuana, together?” Ms. Pillay says, “it’s like putting salt on your food. It’s just a little enhancement.” So they say. Thankfully the yoga fad doesn’t seem to be going away; yoga has many great benefits for both mind and body. It morphed in interesting ways. Popular of late are Hot Yoga, Hip-Hop Yoga, Circus Yoga and Ganja Yoga. Yeah, puff puff, pass… and stretch.

Boot Camp Workouts: This workout remains a favorite amongst those that like to experience pleasure and pain of group exercise. I didn’t try this one, but a friend did and she still runs a couple of miles everyday.

Wii Fit: Okay I thought this was a good idea for the tween and I. Gamer fitness has been selling well thanks to tie-ins from popular TV shows like Biggest Loser and the very sexy Jillian Michaels. What I have to say that while Wii Tennis is fun, real tennis is better.

Dance Fitness: What I like about Zumba, Afro-Cuban and Hip Hop dance class is that it breaks you out of the “feel the burn” exercise ho hum. Perhaps made more popular by shows like DWTS or SYTYCD (Dancing With The Stars or So You Think You Can Dance) I have to say that Bristol Palin almost ruined this one for me. Watching her stomp around the dance floor as if she were born without knees was just painful.

Pole Dancing or Flirty Girl Fitness: Stripper chic has hit an all time high and I’m getting a bit tired of get-it-girl glamour and now fitness. This might be heating up the bedrooms, but strapping on 3-inch heels to workout doesn’t work for me.

Shape Ups: I got hooked into this one. Just a pair of shoes and a nice high butt is mine! Any pair of shoes and brisk walk will do the trick.

Okay, here’s what you came here for, get your hindquarters out of 1st gear and make good food choices! Live well friends and Happy New Year.

Aunt B

Aunt B’s Health Bits- Can I get a wash and set and a blood pressure check?

I was strolling the Internet and saw an article about barbershops that offered blood pressure checks along with a haircut. Well how much sense does that make? A lot! It is one of the few places we show up regularly. Now wouldn’t that make a nice little extra, if beauty shops and barbershops offered blood pressure checks along with a shave or hair extensions, a blow dry and curl? It just somehow makes sense and it works.

A recent study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, tracked 17 barbershops and found that men who had their blood pressure checked when they went to get a haircut were “far more likely to see a doctor and get their blood pressure under control.” There were 17 shops that participated in the study. Eight of those shops distributed pamphlets. The other nine took things further and actually checked the blood pressure of their patrons and offered free services for those that came back with a prescription. Here’s where it gets good. At the end of the study more than half of those participating had their blood pressure under control. I would add this type of service can create stronger and more loyal customers. And customers that live longer too.

People visit the hairdresser or the barbershop every two to three weeks. Having a blood pressure screening with someone that you “visit” with that often will certainly keep the issue at the top of the list. And you will be encouraged by these same people to do something about it.

How innovative, how health conscious, what a great idea!

Source: Science Daily

– Aunt B

Taking a peek inside Part 4. – When you listen to your heart.

“I’m going to get my groove back.” I tossed the catch phrase from Terry McMillan’s “How Stella Got Her Groove Back” at my boss as I waved good-bye and headed out the door. In the book the main character heads off to the Caribbean to find herself again. Me too. The Tween-let and I were on our way to Turks & Caicos for snorkeling and diving, sand and sun and finding my mojo again.

“Don’t get too groovy,” he snapped back.

My current relationship was at the delicate impasse of, ‘this isn’t really what I want but I’m too ____________ (insert choice word here) to move on’. I was hoping that this get-a-way would provide the foot in the *ss needed to reboot my love life. My own five-day “Eat, Pray, Love” is what I was calling it, though unlike Elizabeth, I didn’t have a bunch of time to burn. I am single mom with obligations, and a relationship where I fit my emotions underneath my tongue.

As a believer in God, Spirit, love, magic, thought, prayer, light, hope and intention I took every moment of this trip to reach inside myself and ask what I needed to feel whole again… So I took these steps.

Step 1: I asked my heart to get naked and speak of its desires.
It wanted unconditional love and emotional connection.
It wanted to be cherished and adored, it wanted to be valued and respected.
My heart desired the ritual of family, its own posse of folks to love and call its own.
It desired appreciation for the passionate intellectual spiritual playful love muffin
that I am.

Step 2: I listened to my heart. I didn’t challenge or call it crazy. I treated each desire as
authentic as what needed to feel whole.

Step 3: On my best stationary and with my most flourishing hand, I captured those desires,
recording each longing respectfully, as though spoken from a burning bush.

I felt happy, just knowing what I wanted and giving it some breathing room outside my heart. It’s okay to want to feel cherished and loved, adored and appreciated. Knowing the desires of our own heart is an intimate is an act of love for ourselves, what is more precious?

What are the desires of your heart?

– Aunt B

Taking a peek inside part 3. When you wonder who you are?

Who are you?

Who are you to be annoyed?

Who are you to doubt?

Who are you to fear?

You are wonderfully human and prone to disappointment and heartache, loss and suffering. That is what this life is. It’s not so much a walk on the wild side, rather a saunter, a carousel of saints and sinners, winners and losers. The motion is nonstop.

You are annoyed when things change, when the fact is that nothing is permanent. You doubt that change was part of the bargain you made. No need to doubt, it is what life is all about. Make it is a goal to be okay with change.

You want to write the script, to know what’s coming next. You fear the unknown. You fear lack of control. Resisting this feels right somehow. You resist the wrinkle and the sag, the shifting moods and the crazy uncertainty, the success and the failure. Stop resisting.

Somehow you know that the satisfaction you crave comes with a certain curiosity.

You ask:
How do I stay open to change?
How do I stay flexible?
How do I become okay with not knowing?

You get all tingly with the questions and answers. And that’s how you know you got it right. You become playful, you bend easily. You only need to be reminded that you don’t have to figure it all out. You don’t have to figure out who you are or anyone else is for that matter. Relax in the motion of change.

You know that you are limitless, beyond category and definition. You know that discomfort is a part of game. You know when you’re feeling edgy there really is no cure. You know you really have to just go along for the ride. It’s a bumpy one, but that’s what makes it fun. Hold on and smile.

– Aunt B

The Peek Inside Pt.2 When something is stuck in your craw.

Little did I know I would be taking a peek inside my craw. You know your craw. It’s the place where you keep your dance moves from Thriller, it’s where you store your swag it’s where your darker memories are stacked in a corner. It’s the silky part of you… with fangs.

Something is stuck in mine and it feels like elbows and knees in there, I don’t take lightly to moving stuff around ‘cause I don’t want to disturb what’s in the corner. So I approach softly, my inquiry barely above whisper.

I don’t know about you, but when I am resistant I find it hard to laugh or smile. When people ask me how I am, I lie. And I know that every day that I resist, I feel a tightening, a worry that something bad is going to happen and the more uncomfortable my craw becomes.

My craw is telling me that maybe my intuition is right, that the object of my affection doesn’t deserve my love. My craw is saying that my job is a good fit, but there are other goals I need to pursue. My craw reminds me that being invisible; makes it harder to lead. My craw moves me toward the truth of being me.

When something is stuck in my craw I find it hard to dance. When something is stuck in my craw I can’t see my swag, I only see the darker memories in the corner and I doubt and wonder and am annoyed and bored with all of it.

So I have to get unstuck. Softly. Easily. Remembering that this is softest part of me… and it has fangs.

– Aunt B

Do Children Ruin Relationships?

All around me, my married friends are splitting as if their significant others have been exposed to an incurable virus.

“Oh my! Is that a rash or is that long term commitment?”

Though, what I hear most is, “we were okay, before the kids.” Say what?

While the actual making of the blessed event is pretty fun, once that little bugger takes center stage things tend to change. No longer is your honey the apple of your eye, it’s the little bean that steals your self-maintenance time, deprives you of sleep and keeps you working overtime in the decision making, laundry and housework departments. And then there is the other half of the parenting team that just might be feeling a little more pressure to support the family, wants a little leg and a night out with friends. I mean hey, what happened to Dick and Jane?

I wonder.

What people say is that things change after kids. See Dick and Jane. See self-centered Dick. See self-sacrificing Jane. My ex and I fell into these roles easily. It’s what our parents did (before they divorced) and all that I knew. The child came first, I was reluctant to get a sitter, and I was uncomfortable with my after-baby-body. My ex threw himself into work and made little or no effort in the romance department. That baby was driving bus and we were heading toward a cliff. I saw it coming and tried to phone in “I love yous” and send flowers to his job. I asked for a date night. He asked me not to touch him unless we were going to have sex. I began to exercise, but instead of muscles, the only thing that seemed to build was resentment. He planned outings. I didn’t appreciate his efforts because I still had to arrange for a sitter and afterwards tend to the baby. I refused to meet his physical needs and he refused to meet my emotional needs. See self-sacrificing Jane. See self-centered Dick.

I love my child. Don’t get me wrong here.

We both got lazy about meeting each other’s needs and resentment is a hard mother*cker to get rid of. Resentment keeps score and loves a good game of tit-for-tat and we were two competitive fools.

I love my child, but I would do it differently now.

Now, I understand how important it is for her to see affection between two adults, how good it would be for her to learn that the world doesn’t revolve around her. I wish she could’ve seen us treating each other like we did in the beginning, the thoughtfulness, and the niceties. She would actually have a model to follow had either of us been a bit more mature, or our parents had modeld that for us.

Do children ruin relationships? What say you?

– Aunt B

Back-to-School. The most wonderful time of the year or not

The Tweenlet can practically look at me in the eye. I can’t stop the physical changes. Her body is crouching toward womanhood and she is ready to spring into this upcoming school year.

What I love and hate about back-to-school

I love the silent discipline of structure to our day

I hate the “registration round-up,” the annual production of various and sundry bills and documents to prove that I live in this town and that my daughter can go to this school, what a pain in the *ss

I love her nervous smile and how she reaches for my hand on the walk to school

I hate how each year her ‘good-byes’ are quicker once we arrive

I love knowing some of her friends since they were in kindergarten and watching them grow

I hate that every year, I think will be the last time we sing the “good-morning song”

I love the smell of sun and sweat in her hair when I pick her up from school

I hate how quickly the years are going by

This is the Tweenlet’s last year of elementary school, the training wheels came off this summer, with sleep-a-way camp and letting her do more things on her own. My daughter is growing up and I’m feeling a bit of the ‘½ empty nest syndrome’.

I moved to this suburb of Los Angeles just so that she could attend one of California’s Distinguished Schools. An honor given “to public schools within the state that best represent exemplary and quality educational programs.” I looked at private schools first, drooling at the fancy curriculums and shiny afterschool programs. The tuition was the brass ring just out of reach. So I moved where I could afford the rent (barely) but the public schools were great. I didn’t know the time would pass so quickly.

How do you feel about back-to-school? Happy the summer is over or kind of melancholy? Did you opt out of public education? Do you home school? Why?

– Aunt B

Sleepaway Camp and the Single Mom Pt. 2

“I had so much fun Mom, I wish I could come every week!”

Even though it’s been a week the Tweenlet seems taller. She is talking a mile a minute to me, to her Nana, breaking mid sentence only to joke with a passing camp counselor, or with a new friend.

“Can I have a hug?”

She leaned into me, and laid her head on my chest. She glanced around to see if anyone was looking when I kissed the top of her head. It smelled like sweat and sunshine. This week away from her was hard. I rushed home from work to an empty house. I worried if she was making friends, I wondered if she missed me.

“I missed you for just a minute,” she held her index finger and thumb a smidgen apart while looking at me from the corner of her eye. “On the first night, but after that—nope!

Yeah. Right.

For an entire week the Tweenlet was unplugged. No Nintendo, Wii, computers, cell phones, or television.

For an entire week the Tweenlet was responsible. I wasn’t there to remind her to wash her face, clean her ears, put on her deodorant or pick up her things. I was truly amazed that EVERYTHING that went to camp came back home.

For an entire week the Tweenlet had to deal. I wasn’t there to kill the spiders or to make things okay.

For an entire week the Tweenlet had to make her own choices. About food (which we disagree about quite a bit) her activities and what she decided to wear. Independence from the mom is a good thing. I need to let her make choices, good ones and bad ones and let her enjoy the benefits and the consequences of those choices.
Lessons learned on both parts

“I wish I could go every week!”

I’ve already signed her up for two more weeks. I’ll tell her soon.

– Aunt B

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