Thursday, 26 March 2015


A couple weeks ago my dear handsome, intelligent and athletic friend asked me if he could join me the next time I went to Hot Yoga. He workouts out regularly and enjoys a variety of quick, efficient workouts resulting him enjoying his protein shakes and bars after getting his sweat on. I wasn't sure if he would LOVE Hot Yoga but who am I to decide that? I have been enjoying the warmth and benefits of hot yoga for a few years. I find when you do something for a few years you forget that it may not be so "normal" or extreme. Well bringing a newcomer can quickly remind you that things are normal as thought. 

We arrived to a intermediate level class Sunday evening. The yoga studio was extremely busy with sweaty bodies finishing their workouts drinking tea and relaxing in the main area. We got changed and I set our mats up in a far corner as requested by my dear friend. We spent the few minutes before class relaxing outside and drinking tea. Upon entering the room he realized the warmth...and as we climbed over all the fit, shirtless yogis I could see he wasn't exactly sure what he got himself into. 

The thing with yoga is if you haven't mastered the basics for awhile it may be hard to keep up. Often the teachers are walking around the room adjusting the students, they are not always performing the sequences for the students to follow. So I can appreciate the struggle the newcomers may face as I often face them when it there are series or postures I have yet to try. My dear friend kept up quite well. Slowly the sweat started to drip, eyes started to sting and THAT beautiful sound of RAIN falling on your mat was heard across the studio. But we all know it is not RAIN - it is A REVERSE SHOWER...whereby you are not having the warm water of your shower clean you, you are internally cleaning yourself by SHOWERING your environment with your electrolytes and fluids. It is a wonderful sound and generally accompanied with harder postures where you are told to focus on your breath...but you are REALLY JUST HOPING FOR THE TEACHER TO SAY "take one last breath" until you can halt the uncomfortable sensations. (I hope to reach the point where I can just BREATHE INTO THE PAIN like it doesn't exist...but I am not quite there yet...).

At one point during the class I heard one of those  St. Bernard Mountain Dogs PANTING after chasing a mountain squirrel. Guess who? My dear friend. As the class was in down-dog he was lying on his back just PANTING...I ask "are you okay?" and he between pants he asked "WHY...IS...IT...SO...HOTTTTTTTT???????" With this we flowed through to a few more sun salutations. He did just great. A couple times the teacher came over the adjust him, I heard a variety of noises. An "Ow" and "NO NO" followed by "my body will not do that." Points for honesty. 

At the end of the class I think we both enjoyed our favorite part- Shavasana and THE BEST PART OF ANY HOT YOGA CLASS - THAT MOMENT. You all know what I am talking about. The RUSH OF COLD FRESH CLEAN AIR on your sweaty body. Oh- if someone could bottle that feeling....

It was all in all a great experience. I got a great workout with a dear friend - and I think it was also an excellent source of entertainment. 

Next time your going to do one of your favorite workouts bring a friend that hasn't tried it yet. As per this will be a WIN- WIN - WIN (mostly for you!)

Song of the post -  FOR OBVIOUS REASONS: 

Monday, 23 March 2015

The unusual suspect - ET CA FAIT MAL!

I had the luxury of coming home this weekend. I love being home for a number of reasons - my family, friends and favorite familiar spots; this list includes my favorite yoga studio, gym to do BODY ATTACK, and now barre studio. Two of my dear friends opened up The Dailey Method Ottawa less than two months ago. I feel like I have been watching an amazing journey unfold before my eyes. From listening about how much Sarah loved her first workout at the Dailey Method in Vancouver, to being at the opening of the studio earlier this year has been inspiring and given me motivation to pursue my own career and health goals. The studio isn't just a place to get your workout on - it's also a community of warm welcoming faces and support for anyone of any fitness level to achieve their fitness goals, improve their alignment and a happy environment that can provide a place to destress and smile. Before I get even more sappy, I will tell you about the workout because that's what this blog is about.

I tried the Dailey Barre class which is a bit of a faster pace than the Dailey Basics class. It was lead by a high school friend Sarah S, who was enthusiastic and gave the most excellent instructions while adjusting my alignment so my already burning quads felt even more on FIRE. SOMEONE CALL 911 - FIRE BURNING. The best thing about the workout is that you do get a whole body workout but you're working your core the ENTIRE TIME. My abs and obliques are pleasantly sore, and my quads and hams are definitely feeling it (I wouldn't use pleasant as a descriptor.). I had an excellent time and I can't wait to come back and do some more classes. What I appreciated from my weekend and workout at home is how a community can make you feel so warm, loved and care for (despite the fact that it is -20 on the 3rd day of spring). From all the hugs, sweaty high fives and teasing this weekend I can say I feel refreshed, renewed and extremely sore. Sometimes when we first start working out, or get back into the groove the best thing you can do for yourself is to do it people that support and encourage you. It doesn't have to be at a studio, it can be a running group, community fitness center or maybe a couple friends you meet consistently to hit the ball around or go for a walk. It makes the world of a difference to feel all the love - even when you're a sweaty mess. 

Have the most excellent week!!

I am so proud of my friends at the Dailey Method - for my last ounce of sappiness....I have chosen this song:

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

The REALITY ...and sometimes it isn't so pretty...

It's been about 2 weeks now I have been trying to get back onto the CHOOO CHOOO exercise train. There have been drenched towels, empty water bottles, sore muscles and most of all exhaustion. People always say - it's hard at first...but soon you will have more energy, you'll sleep better and you'll feel great. WHEN IS THAT? WHEN IS THAT I ASK THESE PEOPLE? Okay fine, maybe I am a little dramatic but I am sore. VERY SORE. I don't feel great, I feel like it's a challenge to sit down to go pee and ...don't get me started on the getting up from the toilet. I am constantly thirsty and way hungrier than before. I have gone through this before..."the beginning." It's the hardest part for me. Not caving into the soreness and skipping the early morning workout so I can sleep and rest my muscles. Do not get me wrong, we all need rest and we do need to listen to our bodies...but we need to also decipher excuses from actual pain and injury. Yes may shoulders may prevent me from blowdrying my hair but that doesn't mean I can't go for a run or walk. I force myself out of bed, or the couch after work and get to the gym and do my thing. In times like this, when I'm tired and sore I try and surround myself with others that are on the exercise CHOOO CHOOO train. Group fitness is the best for motivation, music and smiles. 

Regardless of where you are on your fitness journey we all have hard days. Listen to your body. Is it a legit pain, are you feeling unwell or are you making excuses? Be honest with yourself.


Sweat it out folks!

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Springing back into shape!

Today I went to a pretty tough exercise class. It's called MetCon. This is a description taken from a Men's Health article: 

"Metabolic Conditioning workouts, or MetCons for short, are fast paced, high intensity workouts completed in a short period of time that will challenge your cardiovascular capacity, put your metabolism into overdrive and rapidly burn fat."

Sounds intense doesn't it? IT SURE WAS. Did I feel like I was getting a good workout? Absolutely! Did I sweat? Oh yes!!! Did I want to accidentally aggressively roll my exercise ball at the instructor when he was demonstrating a cruel challenging exercise! OH YOU BETTER BELIEVE I DID!!!! This workout was a discouraging one. It was really hard not to get frustrated with myself when I couldn't hold my arm straight over my head holding a 8lbs pound doing my 20th squat and by the end of the class I was modifying most things just so I could still get some sort of a workout. This was not what I am used to. I used to always take the most challenging options in fitness classes refusing to do push ups on my knees or modify anything to make it easier. Those days...well they just aren't right now unless I want to injure myself to the point of not being able to exercise for a while. 

What I learned today was humility. Unfortunately I chose not to prioritize exercise for a while and I cannot expect to be at the same level as I used to be. And perhaps I will never be able to do some of the exercises or lift the same weights as I used to, but it's okay. Exercise has taken a different meaning for me now. It's not about how fast, how much or how's about how I feel getting to the gym, during the workout and when I leave. So yes, maybe I fell off my bosu ball kicking my exercise accidentally to the woman next to me (it legit was an exercise), or the instructor patted me on the back and said "don't worry, I know this was a hard one." BUT I FEEL GOOD. I went to the gym, worked super hard and had an energetic day as a result. We must be proud, gentle and kind to ourselves...even in times of wanting to accidentally let go of the dumbbell when the instructor is walking by....

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Happy Sweaty Women's Day!!!

It was not that long ago that women were discouraged from ridding a horse due to a risk of "deformities in the lower body..." (Walker, 1837).  Women made their first competitive appearance at the Olympics in 1900 - in lawn tennis and golf. Things have changed drastically since those days. Women are now ENCOURAGED to do physical activity. World Health Organization Guidelines recommend women participate in physical activity to improve womens' health and help prevent diseases and conditions that are major causes of death and disability such as: cardiovascular disease, diabetes, osteoporosis and breast cancer. Big surprise that physical activity also reduced stress levels, anxiety and depression therefore improving mental health. MUSCULAR WOMEN? GASP!!! NO MORE! Women's bodies are celebrated in all different shapes and sizes. My prized possession? My biceps. What's your favorite part of your booooddddyyyyy? Be proud, be strong, be a WOMAN!

So LADIES leave your men at home...or bring them with you and have a most sweaty Sunday.

Friday, 6 March 2015

The Truth and NOTHING but the TRUTH

So it's been about three years since my last blog post. THREE YEARS? Where did I go? Did I keep sweating? Is sweat still the solution? 

Let me start with - I went to Medical School (I am still in medical school). Years and years (literally) of school, exams, extracurriculars and adventures I started my medical career 3 years ago...about the same time I stopped writing in the blog. Coincidence...I like to think not. Yes I have kept sweating, not as much as I like, but here and there whenever time permits. I come back to the blog and back to physical activity because I realize it is quite probably the best solution (for me at least). 

The last three years have been tough, long hours, new experiences, a realizing everyday I have SO MUCH MORE TO LEARN. But at the end of the day when I leave class, the hospital or clinic - it's me, my thoughts and my body. Taking that time to run on the treadmill, try a new workout or attending the hottest of all yoga classes I realize for that brief period of time that nothing else matters. I owe it to myself to make that time for me. 

I love the gym and the yoga studio - there is something about being surrounding by other sweaty bodies, but sometimes time doesn't permit it. So I have started doing workouts at home. INSANITY, yoga DVDs from my favorite teachers (Mark Laham) and little videos on instagram have ensure I can keep my workouts going even if they are super short.

THE CLOCK will NOT STOP ME. Do not let it stop you either. If getting your sweat makes you happy, then do it, you owe it to you an no one else.