Ultra-upset I’m not at Ultra….

Hello Healthy People,

MIAMI, FLORIDA. Ultra Music Festival. Aka probably one of the best times you will ever forget….Although I can’t go this year I jammed out to a bunch of new music at the gym while wearing obnoxious neon workout clothes…it was almost like I was there.

ultra

There are a few things that really motivate me to workout. Some large muscular guy like Shaun T yelling at me to “LETS GOOOO” or music. For the majority of the time music is the best way to push me harder or make me work longer.

I probably made a fooool out of myself at the gym today jamming out to this music but I got a killer running/spinning workout.

obama

“im the president. the president of the U-S-A. fa la la la la”

So alas, here is my playlist. I usually just click shuffle but it’s up to you. It’s a mix of old and new, songs I know will make me work and other new ones that will keep me guessing…

1.)Don’t You Worry Child – Swedish House Mafia

2.) Don’t Wanna Go Home – Jason Derulo (something about this song…)

3.) Suit and Tie – JT (this whole CD is amazing and JT is sexual)

4.) Breaking Your Fall (Sick individuals Remix) – Danny Avila

5.) Alive – Krewella

6.) Don’t Stop the Party -feat. TJR- Pitbull (ya’all having a good time?)

7.) Thrift Shop (feat. Wanz)– Macklemore & Ryan Lewis (if you’re not sick of this song playing on the radio 193846x a day)

8.) Where Have You Been? – Rihanna (still one of my favorite spinning songs bc the beat is hard)

9.) Best of Me – The Starting Line (oldie but a gooooodie)

10.) United (Ultra Music Festival Anthem)- Tiestom Qunitini & Alvaro

11.)Life (Diamonds in the Dark) [Feat Agnes] {freenixpawl remix} – John Dahlback

12.) Taito – Mord Fustang

13.) Air Guitar (Ultra Music Festival Anthem) – Afrojack

14.) Strong (orig mix) – Kid Massice & Alex Sayz (THIS IS MY FAVORITE WORKOUT SONG)

15.) Sabrosura – DJ Laz (had to throw in a Zumba song….)

16.) Glowing (Fedde Le Frand remix) – Nikki Williams

17.) As your friend (feat. chris brown) – Afrojack

18.) Apollo (feat. Amba Shepherd) [Radio edit] – Hardwell (we are the lucky ones…we are, we are ohhhhhh…)

19.) X You (radio edit) – Avicii

20.) Platinum Chains – Michael Woods

21.) I could be the one (nicktim Radio edit) – Avicii & Nicky Romero (do you think about when the crowd is gone?)

22.) Chronicles of a fallen Love (Tom Swoon Remix) – The bloody beetroots and Greta Svabo Bech

23.) Scream & Shout (feat Britney Spears) – Will.i.am (It’s britney bitch)

24.) In my mind (axwell Mix) – Ivan Gough and Feenixpawl

25.) Follow you down (feat. Bright Lights) – Zedd

 

So I hope you enjoy the playlist, comment if you seem to like/hate these songs…I enjoy hearing your thoughts!!!

Happy eating and exercising,

XOXO

Jess

You’ve got a friend in me.

Hello Healthy People,

Have you ever used any of these?

EXCUSES.

excuses12

I don’t feel so well today.

My ankle hurts.

I worked out so much yesterday.

I need a break.

I look pretty good, I guess.

No time today.

I just ate and don’t want to get sick.

I will go tomorrow.

I start on Mondays only.

I’ll workout tonight. (And then it turns into tomorrow and the next day…)

Today is my cheat day.

If I am craving ice cream…it means my body needs it right?

No-More-Excuses-Poster

WELL HERE IS THE CURE.

A workout buddy.

workout_buddies_large

My mom is probably the best workout buddy there is…her friends will text her and be like “i didn’t fall asleep until 3am last night and only slept for 3 hours…” and her response “wow, guess our morning walk will be a great energizer for you” and nevertheless they end up doing their daily 4-5 mile walk/run–AND they are happy they did it.

 

It’s good to have a partner in crime to work out with because they hold you accountable.

Maybe a little friendly competition to push yourself. Or just someone that will show up to the Zumba class with you and equally make fun of your talented dance moves or lack thereof. Sometimes it’s just helpful to have someone to share in the soreness.

This is why group fitness classes are one of my favorite ways to work out–they push you and everyone is equally working hard.

My best friend Keala and I instructing a class together at JMU. One of my favorite workout buddies!

My best friend Keala and I instructing a class together at JMU. One of my favorite workout buddies!

So grab a workout buddy and plan 2-3 times a week you guys get together to take a hot yoga class, run around the neighborhood, or venture into the weight room together.

 

You will have fun, love the endorphins, and become more fit!!

 

Happy eating and exercising,

XOXO

Jess

 

7am Cycle Fitness…Favorite class

GOOOOD Morning Healthy People!!!

When I teach morning spin classes… I have a 5:00 am wake up call… Something I actually volunteer for, call me nuts.

Even though I wanted to lay in bed like this…

I was ready to go and happy to give everyone a great morning workout. Here was the playlist we used:

1.) Boyfriend by Justin Bieber (don’t laugh this song is good lol)

2.) Jet Lag by Simple Plan feat. Natasha Bedingfield

3.) Where Have You Been? by Rihanna

4.) Rain Over Me by Pitbull feat. Marc Anthony

5.) Free by Graffiti6

6.) Lights (Bassnectar Remix) by Ellie Goulding

7.) Enough is Enough by Avicii

8.) Epic by Sandro Silva and Quintino

9.) Glad You Came by The Wanted

10.) Cinema (Skrillex Remix) by Benny Benassi

11.) What is Love? -Reloaded by Haddaway

12.) Show me Love (club mix) by Michael Mind

13.) Waiting for Tonight by Jennifer Lopez

14.) Drunk on You by Luke Bryan (favorite song right now, reminds me of summer)

15.) Come Away to the Water by Maroon 5 (aah the Hunger Games soundtrack….)

This playlist is great for running, cycling or working out in general!!!

Disclaimer: whatever you do please refrain from dancing like this:

It is Hump Day today so get your workout on. Remember to keep up with our no Sugar Challenge of the week and don’t forget to like my facebook page for extra motivators 🙂

Happy eating and exercising!

xoxo,

Jess

Yoga Virgin?

I have been teaching yoga for nearly three years now and each time someone asks me about it I say “well…it changed my life.”

WHOA. Bold statement right there.

But it’s the truth. Yoga is more than flexibility and strength. It welcomes you into the present and encourages you to control your breathing, your mind, and your body.

I used to feel that Yoga wasn’t a sufficient workout–I would have chosen a boot camp style class that kicked my booty any day until I gave yoga a chance. A chance does not mean one or two attempts from one instructor with some preconceived notion of what to expect. Try to go into the studio with an open mind and open heart to relish what yoga may bring you. Maybe it’s an hour of your day to just relax. Maybe you start to sleep better, think more clearly, become more flexible and gain the power to refocus yourself at any given time. Yoga teaches you to control your breath–it is called the ujjayi (oo-j-eye) breath which translates to conqueror breath. I like to say once you conquer your breath you can conquer all, because this is the initiation of having control over your mind.

Today, yoga has in fact become very commercialized. There are 32487234 different styles, books, retreats, classes etc. So it can seem a little overwhelming getting to know which is which, or which one is right for you.

I have incorporated several different types of yoga into my practice so I can provide some information about different types. The ones I teach are based on YogaFit protocol which is a national certification–Power, Vinyasa (flow) and Gentle.

Break it down, so we can yoga it up!

1.) IYENGAR YOGA: Created by the yoga master B.K.S. Iyengar–has roots that are based on science and emphasize integrating the mind body connection via perfect alignment. Instructors should use hands on corrections to achieve the purpose of the class. Iyengar believed that the physical alignment automatically aligned the spiritual.

2.) ASHTANGA YOGA: The literal translation of Ashtanga means 8 limbs based on the following:

Yama [moral codes]
Niyama [self-purification and study]
Asana [posture]
Pranayama [breath control]
Pratyahara [sense control]
Dharana [concentration]
Dhyana [meditation]
Samadhi [absorption into the Universal] (Scott 14-17)

This is a popular style of yoga that connects breath with the asanas (poses).

3.) HATHA (Strong) YOGA: This term applies to various practices with the central focus of self realization through controlling the relationship between the body, mind and spirit. Basically defines yoga styles as a group and does not have a central core approach but does usually mean “strong poses.” However, if a studio offers this class, inquire with the instructor of their teaching style.

4.) VINYASA YOGA: The term Vinyasa translates to ” breath-synchronized movement.” Vinyasa styles flow through the practice and allow the breath to serve as the guide changing into different asanas. Therefore breathing is a concentration to this practice while maintaining a natural flow.

5.) BIKRAM YOGA: aka HOT yoga. I recommend trying this style out. Usually the studio is heated to feel like a sauna and you sweat through an hour to hour and half of yoga. The heat serves as a catalyst to get you into the poses a lot deeper than without it. The only thing to be cautious about here is reaching too far into a pose and actually hurting your muscles. This has been referred to as the modern approach to yoga and has taken storm in the west.

6.)KUNDALINI YOGA: Aka the Yoga of Awareness uses chanting and breathing exercises regarded as pranayama in addition to the poses to gain the fulfillment of the practice. It is believed that kundalini energy is inherent to our bodies however we need to gain awareness and control to be able to use it.

7.) KASHMIRI YOGA: This practice is not very different than Vinyasa or Ashtanga but rather focuses minimally on technique. There is little to no form to get hold of. This is more of a means to allow the body to be what is naturally and not altering it in anyway.

8.) POWER YOGA: This comes from a more westernized approach to Ashtanga.  It is the cardio version of yoga and will definitely make you sweat and your muscles sore. I would recommend being a seasoned yogi with Vinyasa style in order to prepare for the effects that power yoga brings. There is very little time for pause in this style. You are constantly flowing and doing a number of sun salutations throughout the practice.

9.) VINIYOGA YOGA: Also referred to as a gentle yoga teaching. Students are encouraged to follow postures in accordance natural movement for an individual’s body and situation. Thus, it is posture rather than form that holds more importance.

10.) INTEGRAL YOGA: Also a form of gentle style yoga. However as the name mentions this form of yoga incorporates a number of styles into the practice. The different branches are listed below.  The point is for the student to reach self-realization through incorporating poses, chanting and breath.

  • Raja Yoga – the path of concentration and meditation
  • Japa Yoga– the attunement through repetition or chanting mantra (sacred sound vibrations) to the inner significance of the divine vibration.
  • Hatha Yoga – the implementation of physical postures
    (asanas) and breathing practices to purify and strengthen body and mind.
  • Karma Yoga – The performance of work as selfless service without attachment to the resultant gain that helps bring the Karma Yogi to becoming a conscious instrument of Divine Will.
  • Bhakti Yoga – the path of devotion to God, a spiritual teacher or incarnation of the Divine that uses this role model to transcend the personality and become a Divine instrument.
  • Jnana Yoga – the use of the intellect and the practice of self analysis and enquiry, so that attachments to mundane existence are released into freedom, freedom, realised through the Higher Self

NAMASTE!!!

Sources:

http://yoga.about.com/od/kundaliniyoga/a/kundalini.htm

yogajournal.com

http://www.yoga-ez-fitness-wear.com/yoga-styles.html

http://www.ashtanga.com/html/background.html


“Baby, imma be your motivation”-said your new tank top

I buy new workout clothes every now and again because not only am I in front of a group of people every day teaching, it is satisfying to be motivated by a new pair of running shoes or a new workout top. Looking fabulous in itself is motivation.  We like to joke about being on barbie status…The term Barbie is not to describe the plasticity and negative connotations associated with her. Instead, it serves as almost a compliment to give each other and make a new name for the look. When we were younger Barbie was idealized. Now that we are older it is not the size 00, shoe size 3 that Barbie would have been with her measurements that we are striving to be…in fact it is not her look whatsoever.  It is the concept that you know you look good inside and out and want to embrace that.

Workout Barbie

My latest splurge….Who needs a boyfriend to treat you to a nice dinner or box of chocolates? Flowers die and chocolate isn’t good for you…My recent valentines day gift to myself was a new yoga outfit and cross training shoes that matched. Why? Well…it is my first single valentines day in a while and instead of getting myself chocolate covered strawberries I got something I can use for a while and that makes me feel good.

Pink ❤

The point is if you are lacking some motivation to go to the gym, go shopping for a new workout outfit to look good in while you workout and you will find yourself wanting to get to the gym! Stylish and fit….the way to be! I also recommend subscribing to the emails from sports authority, finish line etc and getting the deals when the email out the coupons! It saves a bunch.

Finally I found out this weekend that if you put your running shoes on a table and either one tilts to a side and is not balanced, it is time for some new shoes because the tread is worn down too much (thank you J Squared). Keep up with this for injury prevention and it’s also a good excuse to look into buying some new kicks. If you are looking for a long distance running shoe try going to a store that specializes in the sale of them. Often times they will film you or watch you running on a treadmill to evaluate the shoe that would best fit your body.

Don’t allow yourself to lean on excuses why not to work out. If you are experiencing a dull routine, that’s probably because it is. Try running outside, taking a boxing fitness class, downloading the Nike Training app for the iphone, or a body weight workout.  You may notice that just by looking the part you are advancing yourself and motivating yourself to get healthy and fit.

And you’ll feel good about yourself which is part of maintaining that healthy balance between fitness and wellness…so treat yourself! (Especially with this weekend’s Presidents’ Day sales!)

P.S. GUYS…you know you wanna look good too in your muscle shirts. I see you in the weight room staring at yourself, and I don’t hate it! Be proud of your hard work, and the fact that you are surrounded by 50 other dudes staring into mirrors! Go ahead and buy some new workout threads to wear to the gym instead of your old football practice shirt…you might notice a difference in your motivation to head to the gym as well.

Happpy shopping!

My favorite Meditation, home.

Savasana, in corpse pose, final relaxation…

 

The benefits of Final Relaxation have been described as insurmountable. This, my friends, is the most important part of your yoga practice. In a right state of mediation only a few minutes can relax your body so well giving you the feeling of sleeping for hours. Enjoy this time and try to really work on clearing your mind of all the bothersome thoughts we have throughout the day. Eventually you will find that with practice you can learn to control your mind instead of it controlling you. Good luck and namaste!

Begin lying down legs extended, feet dangling to either side, hands resting by side or on tummy. Closing our eyes just sinking further into our mats, allowing our bodies to grow heavy. Slowing and steading our breath inhaling deeply with that nose and exhaling with that nose welcoming our Ujjayi breath, understanding how we can control this.

Home

Allowing our minds to focus ourselves and imagining you are on a beach somewhere warm and tropical. Lying on the powdery white sand, allowing the sun to kiss your forehead, chest, belly and feet warming your whole body. Maybe you are smiling at the sounds of the people around you, your closest friends and family. The sound of their laughter fills you with joy.

You feel a brisk but nice breeze grazing over your skin and hair. The sounds of the waves crashing against the shore are rhythmically relaxing your body.

In this moment. It is only you. Your breath. Your body on this beautiful beach. No worries. No stress. Just living in the present.

(Spoken slowly)

Feeling your body sink in the powdery sand with each exhalation. Allowing the muscles on the bottoms of the feet to soften, relaxing the ankles and the heels, feeling the calves as they melt into the sand.  Softening behind the knees.  Allowing the quads and hamstrings to grow heavier. Relaxing the fingers and wrists, slowly noticing the arms growing heavier and heavier. Releasing the tension we often store in our lower back. Walking up the spine one vertebra at a time allowing the back muscles to sink into the sand. Feeling the upper back growing heavier and heavier. Relaxing the jaw, maybe allowing the mouth to hang open just slightly. Softening the muscles around the eyes…and clearing the mind in final relaxation.

Namaste* my friends. Feel free to incorporate this into the end of your classes or practice!

Can you tell I’m a florida girl? Love the beach!

Broken heart? Nah, I use the stairs.

HAPPPY VALENTINES DAY! Or single awareness day, whichever title you prefer. Regardless of your relationship status this day is a great reminder of our hearts. Not in the love sense but in the holy crap I have to keep this thing pumping my whole life sense…

So, let’s talk about this most famous organ.

Heart disease is one of the deadliest killers especially in women.  It is important to start NOW…not after you have a heart attack or get diagnosed with some related disease.

Rule number one: put the twinkies down. And the bacon. And everything else that is notorious for clogging up those arteries. Think of your body as a machine. You want to fuel it with the best energy possible. If it is taste you are concerned about losing, you’re wrong. Simply cooking and experimenting in the kitchen you will find the great effects of cinnamon, cayenne, tumeric, rosemary, garlic etc which will all add flavor into your dishes. The idea is to eat clean. Look at your labels, be aware of what you are digesting. If there are 34923479 ingredients and it looks like it was created in a high school chemistry lab, odds are it probably isn’t the healthiest for you.

For instance, peanut butter should be peanuts and a little salt. Not:

JIF Reduced Fat PB

Uhh what is Zinc Oxide and why the heck is it in this peanut butter? I choose Smuckers natural peanut butter because it has two ingredients…peanuts and salt. This simple correction can make a huge change in your dietary life!

The Movie Wall-E

Also, we have become one of the laziest societies in history. Coincidentally diseases and cancers are on the rise. The movie Wall-E hits it spot on. We are relying on technology to get us everywhere and to consume our lives. The years of hunting and gathering are far over yes but we need to learn to take the stairs instead of the elevator with the only exception of injury or handicap.

Secondly, not only must we take the stairs and do simple things like park further away in the parking lot…we must EXERCISE!!!! It’s so simple and can be done at a gym, at home, without equipment, etc etc therefore there should be no excuses. According to the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America they recommend at least 4 days of the week to be committed to a workout. So get active anyway possible!

Thirdly, we can’t cave into the poor food choices available today. These “cheap” “dollar menu” “yummy” items are sure to cause illness or disease in the future whether you deny it or not. Studies have shown time and time again that our diet effects our bodies years and years afterwards. Furthermore, there is speculation and evidence that what we eat also impacts our children’s DNA and resilience or susceptibility to diseases.

The goal here is preventing disease and being aware of what our bodies are eating. Also, exercise is an essential part of living a long, healthy and well balanced life.

“guard your hearts”

Happy Eating (Healthy) and Exercising,

Jess

Me, Myself and I: No equipment necessary

I hate the gym.

Eww germs.

What do I do at the gym?

At home workouts are expensive.

Gym memberships are expensive.

I don’t have time.

I need to wash my hair.

THESE EXCUSES and more are what prevent people from getting the workout they NEED! But I’mma tell you a secret.

BODY WEIGHT FITNESS IS THE KEY.

Seriously, all you need is about 15 minutes and you can fit in a great workout full of strength, cardio and plyometrics.

My friend Ashley and I tend to incorporate fitness into wherever we go…so on our hike at Crab Tree Falls, Virginia we decided to do some strengtheners:

Ashley performing Inclined Pushups on top of a Mountain

Me doing one-legged triceps dips

Side Planks!

So what is your excuse now? All you need is a space large enough for you move around in just a bit and yourself!

Quote from a Professor at James Madison University, “would you rather workout for 30 minutes a day or be dead for 24 hours a day?”

–He makes a great point.

Below is a workout that I think you will really enjoy:

Me Myself and I Workout #1

Warm Up: 1 minute of jogging in place, 1 minute of jumping jacks, 30 seconds high knees, 30 seconds butt kicks, 1 min jumping rope (just the motion, unless  you have a rope) [REPEAT]

Workout:

1 Minute of Burpees (a burpee is when you jump in the air then put palms on the ground, kick legs back into a full plank, do a push up and then jump up high again)

{modified burpees: take out the push up, dont jump but rather just stand up tall}

1 Minute Plank {modification: on knees in a modified plank, making sure our belly buttons our tucked back towards the spine, head and gaze is down towards floor}

1 Minute Heismann (The motion is jumping side to side landing with one foot and opposite knee up towards chest but holding and really sticking the jump to emphasize balance and power)–think explosion.

1 Minute Mountain Climbers (these can be done standing up near a wall bring knees up in high knees with opposite arms overhead, or these can be performed on the ground. Emphasis is cardio here don’t forget to keep breathing)

30 seconds rest {keep standing up and feet moving}

1 minute of jumping squats (sit into a squat making sure knees aren’t going passed toes and weight is in the heels–then jump as high as you can clapping hands overhead, landing softly knees bent back into the squat)–power!

1 minute pushups (here doing as many as you possibly can in the minute time, aim to increase this every time–can be performed in the modified plank position or full–try starting in full if you can maintain proper form and then dropping into modified once you become fatigued)

1 minute of Jumping jacks or power jacks

1 minute of Tuck jumps (jump up as high as possible and bring your knees into chest, remembering to land softly with knees bent for impact)

1 minute of Walking Lunges {making sure knees are never going passed the big toes}

1 minute of Russian twists {sit in a boat position with feet on tippy toes, at 90 degree table top, or full pilates boat…exhale twist you hands to the R side and then the L, remember to breathe working the core muscles}

1 minute of Crunches {hands rested behind the head, no pressure on the neck, elbows shouldn’t be able to see in the peripheral vision, space for an orange in between that chin and chest, exhaling as you come up, inhaling on the way down}

1minute of lower back extensions (feet on ground, facing down on ground, gazing down, hands by forehead, lifting and lowering slowly)

1 minute Suicides

1 minute High knees

1 minute Butt kicks

Keep feet moving and rest and stretch or repeat 1 or more times! Always remembering to stretch at the end and that an effective stretch is held for at least 30 seconds

GOOD LUCK!

The couple that works out together, stays together?

Well I am no relationship psychologist. Haha. I’m sure the thought of ME giving relationship advice comes as a funny joke to some of my friends reading this. My life is more like:

While listening to the soundtrack of Beyonce:

 

But with love in the air, or the wine (however it works these days)…and Valentine’s day just around the corner I wanted to give some of my advice that has worked in the past for myself and friends.

 

Workout together.

 

Sounds simple right?

…it is!

First of all endorphins are the best things ever. They make you happy, excited and naturally in a better mood which is perfect when you are around that someone special. Now, I’m not saying  set 6 am alarms and wake up and go running early mornings but I tell you what, those led to some good mornings and even better memories in my relationships. If you two are competitive people maybe strive to get involved with a co-ed team for basketball or soccer. Motivate each other to go to the gym and plan workouts that you both enjoy. Ladies, if you love to take Yoga try introducing it to your friends. I’ve had several participants bring in their boyfriends to my classes and they even continue to come once they realize the benefits of the practice.

 

Guys? Your girlfriend might be scared to go into the testosterone ridden weight room at the gym but introduce her to some exercises with the right amount of weight (try 8lbs-10lbs) and work on muscle endurance. Be not afraid, it is almost impossible for girls to look “bulky” without taking some sort of supplements or lifting extremely heavy weights.

 

In turn, this will help you both become healthier and happier. I love to go on runs outside in the park, hike together, racquetball, snowboard, or spin. Don’t be afraid to try something new and you might find that it actually brings you two together.

Fitness + Love = forever…corny but don’t hate on it.

xoxo