Confidence

There’s a woman at the gym that i cross paths with often. And by often i mean pretty much daily. Our daughters are similar in age. We both nursed until they were 2. She is so dedicated, constantly training. We talk in passing about her workouts, and in a non professional sense- i just listen usually because she has methods she likes to stick to. But she came to me a few months ago burnt the fuck out. Life & training had her down, and she wasn’t getting the results she wanted. I listened. And i said, you are someone else inspiration, take a break or make a change if you need it, but don’t you spend your time comparing yourself to someone else’s results. We parted ways and went back to our normal exchanges. Yesterday, as we swam with our girls out of coincidence, she made a point to thank me for my words. Because it helped remind her to keep going.

Confidence is something we build from the inside. It’s not in a high heel or a new lipstick or perfect arms. It’s in you. Your light shining through. No one else’s. We are all so different and it needs to be embraced, not fought.

May challenge

It’s May first! I’m using it as a chance for a fresh start. Tomorrow, I will not only make food for my daughter. I will do more than drink coffee. Even if I’m not feeling well (I don’t usually do well in the morning with food) I will make myself a smoothie. I will get myself to eat and eat healthy foods. They are right here in the house. There is no reason I care for everyone else and then just leave myself to the wind. I deserve to be cared for too. So that’s what this is about. This challenge is to better care for yourself. If your long term goal is to lose weight, maybe that means you choose to eat out less during this challenge. Or drink less alcohol. One big thing? Get some better sleep. No laying in bed with the TV on or your phone being checked. Let your body have some down time this month. Be kind to yourself! Don’t worry, I want you to choose to workout too- so if that’s where your motivation is lacking, make that part of your month. Let your choices be driven by your hopes and goals. Take a picture of yourself today. Send it to me. When the challenge is over, we are going to compare the people, the one you were, and the one you became through better habits, and more happiness.

Kettle bell workout

Little total body for the calorie burn but the focus is on the booty and thighs.

Curtsy with curl and press x10

Plié (2 pulses) with single arm row x10

Curtsy with curl and press x10 on the other side

Plié (2 pulses) with single arm row x10 on the other side

Kettle bell swing x60 seconds

Heel Lifts x30 seconds

Pulses x30 seconds

(Give yourself an active rest with some nice inchworms or V ups)

Do it again, 3x.

Go!

Barre arms

You have so many options when it comes to barre arms. Here are the main sticking points though. Keep your weights between 1 & 3 lbs. Tiny movements or long series are meant for tiny weights, save the bigger weights for the big movements and longer rest breaks. I’m demonstrating 3 different positions you can use so that you a. Up your calorie burn, b. Don’t get bored, c. Keep the whole body working.

Start with push ups.

5 slow with wide hands, knees on the floor is totally acceptable.

5 regular count with wide hands.

5 tight hand/Pilates position so that elbow scrape your ribs.

5 with hands in diamond.

I’m happy to pst another video a different day to demonstrate.

Kneeling:

Knees should be fist distance apart and parallel. Toes can be curled under if it’s more comfortable to you. As you add in the lift and lower of the hips like I demo, you should be imagining your back sliding down a wall- your hips tuck under on the way down to keep them under your shoulders as best you can.

Parallel Chair:

Use the wall to slide yourself down so your hips are one inch above knee height, or as close as you can keep. Feet can be hip distance or zipped up. Heels high. Tuck your hips and press your low back into the wall.

Wide Second:

Walk your feet wider than your hips. Feet turned out toward 45 degrees (not a full turnout) so that heels are right under knees. Lower your hips down to knee height.

If one lower body option doesn’t work for you, try another. If you can do a little of each, do a little of each. If you can only do some arms with weights, do it. If you can’t do any? Focus on where the movement in coming from instead! Engage your body. Guess what? The push ups are just a suggestion. If they also don’t work for you- switch it up! These are options. Ways for you to play with your workouts. Want an exact workout to follow? Message me. I’ll make it happen. XO

Begin again. Always begin again.

As I lay here on a Sunday night, a basket of laundry in my peripheral vision calling me (very quietly) to put it away (I never really do) with SVU back on the tube, I reflect on the last two years of my life. They have been no doubt the best, and also that worst of my life. Tonight, at dinner, my sweet Rowan turned to me and said, “Daddy saved you, didn’t he, Mommy?” I blinked. And then said yes baby, I think he did. We have been keeping each other going. Quietly. Slowly. We have spent the last two years trying to get settled. Ive had a million reasons not to write or reach out. I’ll share them all, eventually.

Recently, I realized I need to start looking outward. I’ve taken the better part of the past year to just focus inward. On my child, my husband, myself. I changed my position at work so that I could keep my tunnel vision. It was what I needed to do right then. For my body too. A few weeks ago, my mind came back. It started to work again. Ideas. Passion. Like something broke back open.

Here I am. Beginning again.

My name is Irish. I’m a 33 year old Harry Potter addict who works out on the side. No but seriously. I have been a personal trainer, yoga, Pilates & barre instructor for over ten years. Teaching is my happy place. It’s how I share light (and pain) with those I love. My clients become my friends, my family. I want to share that with you too.

I will be posting workouts. Sometimes 5 minutes of stretching, like today. To be kind to yourself. Because no matter what your fitness goals, that is so very important. I cannot tell you how much kindness & happiness can change the body. Kindness to yourself, and happiness in your body will alter your appearance. You will read my rants about this.

Sometimes I will post challenges. Ways to push yourself, to find creativity in your workouts to keep your mind alive, and your body progressing.

Sometimes, like today… I’ll be thinking about the need to begin again. To have the courage to keep beginning again. No matter what. It’s ok to take time when you need it. Pause. For minutes, days, months…but you have to begin again. You have to wake up and try again.

My name is Irish. I have anxiety, chronic migraines and nerve damage in my left shoulder. I am hyper-mobile in many of my joints and have been working for years to find the correct way to workout to care for myself. I’ve taken this search for knowledge, this search, and translated it to helping others. The greatest majority of my clients who see me in person, come to me for help with pain. Pain management tends to be like a puzzle. Each piece has to be found and put together the right way to find relief. I pride myself in being part of the puzzle for so many.

My pain also helps me see the world a little differently. Perspective is so very important. My anxiety skews it from time to time…but the workouts help.

My name is Irish, I love donuts, perusing the ‘we made too much’ section of Lululemon, drinking too much iced coffee and leaving cupboard doors wide open so that it looks like a crazy person has been in my kitchen always.

I started teaching because I liked the workouts and benefits of yoga and Pilates, but I could not find anyone who had a message that resonated with me. The explanation of how my body was supposed to find what it needed was….. lacking. There was not enough. I wanted more. Different. So that’s what I became. I became the instructor I was looking for. I teach classes that are meaningful to me.

This life is meaningful to me. I’m not a super nice person. I’m not a cheer leader. My teaching style has been rebellious, and sometimes compared to a dominatrix. I don’t have all the answers. I’m on a quest to find them and share each one.

Trying to be well, fit & sane….while pregnant

Hello! I’ve been away for some time from my blog. We got married, we got stuck in a hurricane on our honeymoon in September and fast forward to Christmas, we found out I was having a baby. It’s been a rollercoaster to say the least. I spent most of 2014 trying to get my body to be well enough to enjoy my wedding. My chronic migraine treatment was intense. Then as soon as we got home from our wicked and wonderful retreat to Mexico, where I was forced to wean off many medications due to being stranded without them (or power, or running water….) I went off all medications completely. I’ve always wanted children. My mom had a horrible time getting and staying pregnant and I always assumed the same would be true for me. I am 30 years old, let’s take out the goalies and see what happens we said! It will probably take awhile we said! Ha! We were blessed ever so quickly with the news that a baby girl was going to join us by our first wedding anniversary.

Like many chronic migraine sufferers, I dreamed of a reprieve during pregnancy. That has not been the case. I am hyper mobile in most joints- I have never been diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos officially but that is what my current doctor is leaning towards. The hormones in pregnancy have made most of my issues worse, not better. My joints are ‘slipping’ out of place easier, I’m seeing the chiropractor every 2 weeks instead of every few months and my migraines, although less frequent/severe, still come. Sigh.

My workouts have had to change. I still teach but no longer as much. I am currently teaching 2 barre, 3 yoga, and one bootcamp regularly. I can no longer do the majority of the bootcamp. I found that my hips would come out of place. Barre, with its small isometric movements has been my best option.

I am frustrated to say the least. I am taking magnesium to help with headaches and when absolutely necessary having tylenol, a cup of coffee, and ice pack and rest….. but for all you migraine sufferers out there, you know how little that actually does.

I am angry with myself. I wanted to be pregnant and have a baby for so long in my life that I told myself I would always enjoy it, no matter how dreadful pieces can be. And I’m failing at that. My first trimester was miserable with nausea that wouldn’t quit, could wake me from my sleep. Now my second trimester almost finished, I am striving to just find joy in each day… which is her- her kicks usually or spending time in her baby room trying to find simple ways to make it beautiful. I’m getting pain in my hands & wrists, even though I’ve gained very little weight…. trying desperately to get my mind to be ok.

I’m thankful I’m able to be active. I teach. I walk my pup. I got in the pool last week, I’ll do that again this week.

I’ll keep trying. I’ll keep trying to be well. For me and for her.

I will remember that not all days will be good and to do what I can, when I can.

Wellness

I got a question today about exercise abuse. We’ve all seen it. People using exercise as an escape- they usually choose one form until their body gives out in some way. The knees, the hips, the back… But they keep going. They reach for those endorphins. So, the question was, how do you urge someone to cross train to save their body? How do you get them to see that adding in yoga, Pilates, swimming- to a regular running routine will actually make them stronger? Better? How massage can help, and supplements or ease joint pain? We all think we know best for our body- so how do you nicely tell a loved one or friend that you think they are hurting themselves? Exercise can be as much of an addiction as anything and it takes balance to make it a healthy part of your life. It doesn’t have to be running, I’ve seen yoga addicts in studios as well. It could be any form.

What would you do?

Fake it till you make it

There have been a lot of times in my life where the mantra Fake it till you make it, has come in handy. When learning anything, when trying to get better at anything, when trying to get through a hard time… The situations are limitless because you are limitless. There are occasions where I have to teach but I feel like garbage, I fake it. I act like I’m fine and I do actually feel better when the class is done, it’s like I tricked my brain into forgetting my allergies were terrible. When I start a new pose, going toward it with the determination to conquer it but not really knowing if I have the strength to accomplish it… I fake it. I just do it. Even for a short time until it eventually gets easier. When my self esteem is low and all I see in the mirror are flaws, I pull myself together as best I can and pretend to be confident. No one sees your flaws like you do. Fake it, pretend you like the way you look, pretend you don’t see the little things like a hair out of place. Your confidence makes you beautiful. Not perfect features.

In most things in life, you need to have the courage to try, to learn and to grow. And sometimes that means you need to fake it till you make it. Put yourself out there.

Do not be your harshest critic- it’s silly! Life is too short and you are too lucky.

Be well. Be good to yourself. Be good to others. And always have the confidence to try.

Yoga for the kiddos

Need some rainy day fun? You don’t need a yoga mat or video- just take this list of poses and how to make them fun. Great for all ages- to connect with your child, to help them learn & be aware. If you are unsure of any poses because you are new to yoga, I recommend http://www.iyogalife.com, it has each pose described & a picture.

Each pose is listed first, and followed by how to make it fun:

Tree- balance & sway your branches in the breeze

Down dog- bark like a dog

Up dog- howl at the moon

Child’s pose- go to sleep! Pretend to snore

Cat- draw spine up & meow!

Cow- drop belly/utters & moo!!

Tiger- reach out opposite arm & leg as you roar reaching for your prey

Pigeon- coo like a pigeon, see if your kiddo can roll their tongue

Butterfly- where will you fly to? Butterflies can fly a million miles!

Boat- hold & balance, imagine the waves

Seated forward fold- pretend you are an alligator chomping down as you touch your fingers to your toes

Turtle- roll into a ball on your back & imagine being stuck on your shell

Savasana- lay back, let palms face the ceiling, widen the mouth into a big yawn, quietly breathe and see if your kiddos have any stories to tell you 🙂