Hello friends! Long time no…. see? Write? Post? Read?

I’ve had a glorious almost two weeks off blogging. It wasn’t intentional, in fact. But welcome time off all the same. How easy is it to get caught up daily in writing, reading, commenting, checking stats, updating plugins, noting post ideas, collecting images, etc?? Too easy. Overwhelmingly easy. Must-step-away easy.

Plus, I’ve had fun. We spent Friday – Tuesday up in NYC for a mini college-friends-turned-family reunion. People we’ve known for years and who can never ever be replaced. People who you pick up right where you left off despite the group spreading out across the country. Only about 1/3 of the group was there, but the six of us had a blast. Trapsing all over Manhattan and Brooklyn, lots of drinking on rooftops (thank you GORGEOUS weather), late nights, turning the living room into a dance floor… good stuff. Don’t worry, also enough real-life conversations to catch up with each other. It wasn’t all ridiculous fun. *wink*

Easily the happiest few days I’ve had in a long while. #content

Jon&Larissa Wes&Larissa BoysYoga Justin&Larissa



This week was also Jon’s birthday! We celebrated with friends over the weekend and then did dinner together at home later.

How was your week?
Did you do anything exciting for the holiday weekend?

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First, thanks for the strength training tips on Friday! I’ve already made some adjustments. Excited to keep getting stronger!

I’ve got a busy week ahead with two evenings working at the yoga studio and leaving town on Friday afternoon for a long Memorial Day weekend in NYC. Looking forward to 3+ days straight with some or our favorite people.

In the meantime, with chores like laundry and packing, I’m anticipating limited − or at least quick − workouts this week. That always makes me less inclined to do it. Yes, I know I can do a hard and fast HIIT workout but I also crave my “me” workout time after work to decompress. If I can’t do everything I want to do, well… here’s where my stubbornness irrationally comes out. 🙂

So I’m setting the intention first thing this week to do some workout Monday −  Thursday. They won’t be long and maybe they won’t be hard. An easy 30 minute yoga flow would suffice. I also know I won’t be eating all that great this weekend, so I’m committing to being extra vigilant with my food. Then I can into the weekend feeling good, ready to relax and have some fun.

How was your weekend?
What are your goals or intentions for the week?

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Hi all! (Is it strange to have a greeting? Maybe it is. Mixing it up, trying new things!)

I had a pretty great week; nothing fancy or special. Just busy, productive, good workouts, great sleep (yoga nidra, people). Jon submitted very extensive applications for two awesome photography/ multimedia jobs. Like, 10+ pages of essay questions when all was said and done. For the initial application. Seems crazy to me. Anyway, he’s been writing all week and I spent a few evenings reading over it all (P.S. Jon knows his shit and I’d totally hire him).

I’m also ramping up my strength training lately, and can use all the tips I can get! I’m using free weights and a resistance machine, and I’m generally doing 50 total reps for each move (usually doing sets of 10 at a time). Ideas? Thoughts? Suggestions?

I want shoulders like this.

I want shoulders like this.


• This 12:00 core tabata from Melissa Bender Fitness.
• 50 reps additional abs work and 50 reps back extensions.
• Brief crow and side crow balances.
• Finished with some easy stretching for my sore legs.


Part I: TM cardio – 2 miles, 20:00 (9:54 pace)
2% incline for most of this, 3% for about a 1/4 mile. Warm today!

Part II: weights – 40:00

50 each: {upper body} 50 each: {lower body}
• rows | 120#, 120#, 110#, 110#, 110#
• lat pull downs | 70#, 70#, 60#, 60#, 50#
• chest press | 50#, 40#, 40#, 30#, 30#
• overhead triceps dips | 20#
• basic curls | #10
• dumbbell chest press pulse | #20
• full pushups
• straight leg triceps dips
• lunges | 40#
• squats | 40#
• deadlifts | 40#
(15 each single leg, 20 double leg)
• squat jumps


• Intermediate vinyasa flow – 50:00
I’ve done this class several times and enjoy and pace, background noise and the level. Really really nice. Also did 50 full pushups for some extra shoulder work.


• Sun salutation A and B – 15:00
Just a quick sun salutation A and B on my rest day. 🙂


Part I: HIIT from Melissa Bender – 15:00
Well actually, more low impact, or LIIT. I took out the squat jumps and burpees because I have neighbors below and did squat pulses, kettlebell swings and deadlifts instead.

Part II: weights – 30:00
At home with my limited free weights. This was too heavy for the lateral raises, so I kept the movements smaller. This worked my shoulders hard!

50 each: {upper body} 50 each: {lower body}
• lateral raises, front | 10#
• lateral raises, side | 10#
• raises, back | 10#
• shoulder rolls | 10#
• basic curls | 10#
• overhead triceps dips | 15# kettlebell
• dumbbell chest press pulse | 15# kettlebell
• in table top position,
single-leg leg lifts, pulses
and cross over lifts | 50 each leg
• same thing to each side for
outer hips | 50 each leg

Part III: yoga – 30:00
I began the evening the a 10 minute sun salutation C to loosen up. After finished my weight workout, I did some tree pose into lord of the dance pose for a leg balance and back work. Then I spend significant time in arm balances: crow, side crow, pose dedicated to the sage koundinya I, shoulder-pressing pose, firefly pose, tripod headstand and supported headstand. My arms, shoulders, back and core are going to SORE tomorrow after everything tonight!

Sheesh that was alot to put in! Nothing interesting from instagram this week, so I’ll leave you with a dog who’s more excited to use a treadmill than I am these days.


How was your week?
Did summer hit with a vengeance where you are?

I’m totally figuring out this strength training/weights/resistance machine stuff as I go, so any tips?

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* Feature image: “Savasana” by Missy N. {cropped and text added} is licensed under Flickr Creative Commons CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

If you struggle to fall asleep or to sleep soundly, you need to try this. For real.

Yoga Nidra, or yogic sleep, is a fully relaxed meditative state. Your mind remains lightly engaged while your body feels like it’s melting you’re so relaxed. By “lightly engaged” I mean you follow the verbal cues of the instructor (whether in a class or via a recording), you don’t quite fall asleep, but the practice helps to clear you mind of all “clutter.” It’s amazing. I can’t even tell you.

Some definitions that explain this better than I can:

From Yoga Journal: “Also known as yogic sleep or sleep with awareness, Yoga Nidra is an ancient practice that is rapidly gaining popularity in the West. It is intended to induce full-body relaxation and a deep meditative state of consciousness. “We live in a chronically exhausted, overstimulated world,’ says Rod Stryker. ‘Yoga Nidra is a systematic method of complete relaxation, holistically addressing our physiological, neurological, and subconscious needs.’… ‘Yoga Nidra uniquely unwinds the nervous system,’ Stryker says, ‘which is the foundation of the body’s well-being.’ “

From Wikipedia: “The practice of yoga relaxation has been found to reduce tension and anxiety. The autonomic symptoms of high anxiety such as headache, giddiness, chest pain, palpitations, sweating and abdominal pain respond well. It has been used to help soldiers from war cope with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Yoga nidra refers to the conscious awareness of the deep sleep state, referred to as prajna in Mandukya Upanishad.

How many night do you go to bed with your mind whirling and find it hard to settle into sleep? I’m pretty sure most (all) of us experience this. I did a Yoga Nidra guided meditation Sunday and Monday nights before bed and woke up feeling better than I have in ages. Ages! Last night I didn’t and was back to the normal period of struggling to calm my thoughts so I could fall asleep.

P.S. Listening through these when you’re not settling in for the practice, but just listening… maybe don’t do that. It sounds pretty ridiculous at times! I usually listen through in bed with lights off. Basically, go to bed with this. At the end I’ll get up just long enough to move my computer or headphones and go right to sleep.

P.P.S. Don’t worry if these seem long. At first it seems crazy to stay up an extra 30+ minutes, but I promise it’s not really “staying up.” If you’re worried about the time at first, find an evening you can go to bed a little early.

Here are a couple of video I’ve done:

Do you have pre-bedtime habits to help you fall asleep?
Have you tried Yoga Nidra before?

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My thoughts are all over the place today. In the last week I’ve had a couple of conversations and done some thinking and read a couple of blogs and set some goals.

My first decision is that I am not running the 10k this Sunday. I’ve been going back and forth since I know my running isn’t strong enough to PR right now. I’m not big into racing anyway, so it’s hard to convince myself to pay for one just to run it without a real goal for the race. I’ve always said I will stop or change something if I start disliking runs. Forcing a race I’m not into seems a waste of time and money.

An increasingly busy weekend of meetings at the yoga studio and church sealed the deal. So! I’m free to keep doing the runs and workouts I enjoy right now.

This week’s motivation is simple, classic workout inspiration. You all know my pet peeves about guilt-laden body-shaming #fitspo. {If not, read When motivation hurts and What is your “pinspiration” really saying?} When looking through fitness motivational images, I ask a couple of questions:

• Does the image make me like myself / feel good about myself?
• Would I give this advice to someone else / my child / a friend?
• If it’s a health tip, is it something my doctor would recommend?

Each of us respond differently to motivation or are sensitive in different ways, but I try my best to keep this blog guilt-free and shame-free. And I’m working on this stuff myself every single day. Let’s respect and appreciate where we are now while working hard toward our next goals. Happy Monday!

“Real purpose of running” print available on Etsy.

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