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Self Awareness

Today I’m focusing on self awareness during exercise. We are lucky at the Y that we are able to team teach BodyPump. I have a co-instructor and we split teaching the class 50/50. One of us teaches while the other participates as well as walks around and corrects technique.

Tonight while I was walking around making corrections during class it really hit me that sometimes we lack self awareness. Before you freak out on me and think that your instructors are judging you – STOP. It happens to everyone at some point in time – whether it be something new or something you’ve just become too comfortable with.  You think you’re doing something right, it feels right and you’ve gotten in the habit of doing it that way.

The point of this post is to encourage you to stop and check in with your body from time to time. Instead of tuning out your instructors because you know what’s going on, try listening to what they’re saying and really taking a hard look at your technique/form. Sometimes the tiniest modifications can make the biggest difference in how things feel. And if it doesn’t feel good you can always go back to the old way.

One of the things I love about yoga is that my teachers give great verbal direction and provide physical assists that really help you understand how you should feel in a pose. You think you’re rocking something when along comes your teacher with a small assist and it’s like the pose has totally changed.

So your challenge from me is to get outside of your comfort zone a little the next time you’re doing something that requires self awareness. Think about how you can improve your form and what you can do to make it even better and stronger. I promise that I will focus on this too – there is always, always room for improvement.

Today’s recap…

I was up at 6 a.m. this morning for a tempo run. I covered 5.5 miles in 48 minutes and averaged an 8:44 pace. Not stellar but my legs were feeling really spent from the week’s exercise activities. Honestly, I should have skipped out on Wednesday night yoga. It kind of put me over the edge. I still enjoyed the run but I wasn’t as speedy as I hoped. Oh well, miles are miles!

Breakfast was unpictured but awesome. Oatmeal with bananas, fresh North Carolina blueberries and almond butter. It was so comforting after my run. I am usually full until lunch from oatmeal but for some reason I was starving again at 10:45 a.m. I’m blaming my hunger on the early run coupled with Wednesday night’s run and yoga.

Lunch was a repeat of Wednesday night’s dinner because it was so ridiculously good.

Grilled cheese! This time I added avocado and heirloom tomato slices. Salad on the side.

I had a new bar for my afternoon snack.

These new Clif C Bars were on sale at the grocery (way cheaper than my beloved Larabars) so I decided to give them a try. This apple bar featured only 9 ingredients and less fat and calories than a Larabar.

The verdict? Very tasty. I will most definitely be purchasing this again!

Dinner tonight was a bit random. We’re getting ready for one last travel weekend and heading to the beach tomorrow. I was baking Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread and Chocolate Peanut Butter Crispy Bars for the trip and kind of winged dinner.

Mixed greens with grape tomatoes, avocado, cucumbers, carrots and lite ranch dressing. A piece of cornbread on the side.

Off to finish up packing. Tomorrow is going to be a crazy day! I have early morning yoga and a lunch meeting so I must have everything packed up tonight. That is a challenge for me. I am a terrible packer!

See you from the beach!

{ 5 comments… add one }
  • Nicole - yuppieyogini.com August 27, 2010, 3:24 am

    You are hardcore! I am definitely gonna try your body pump class soon!

  • Cristen August 27, 2010, 10:55 am

    I also struggle with self awareness when I am in my exercise comfort zone! My main exercise come from Curves and if I chat too much I lose focus and my form is all off. I don’t push myself as hard as I can. The instructor is usually the main conversation pusher which I find really annoying when I am in my groove. Sometimes I just have to shut her out and keep my own tempo. Tough to do with a room full of chatty women. I am working on it though!

  • Ashlee August 27, 2010, 7:14 pm

    I love bodypump but you are so right! Every time though on the chest track, I don’t feel it in my chest…I actually feel it in my shoulders. My instructor told me to be sure to go to the middle of my chest or my heart rate monitor which I’ve done both modifications. She also said she watched me and I was doing it correctly. Any ideas? This post is so wonderful and yes, we all need to become more body aware.

    • Jen August 27, 2010, 7:24 pm

      Ashlee – thanks for the nice comment about the post. A lot of people struggle with the shoulder v. chest feeling in BodyPump.

      I always suggest the following:
      – really think about relaxing your shoulders and focus on sqeezing your armpits together on the way up
      – aim for the heart/mid-chest and don’t drop your elbows below the step
      – when you come to the bottom of the motion check to make sure your elbows and shoulder are in line and that you’re not dipping your elbows down by your sides.

      Hope that helps!!! Let me know if you have any other questions!

      • Ashlee August 27, 2010, 11:36 pm

        Awwwww.thanks so much for taking the time to help! I love your blog. I’m trying to get more into yoga for my running as well.

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