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Bloghop Giveaway – BendiBaby Yoga Mat

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I’ve got some great news for you if (a) you have a wee one, and (b) you like free stuff, especially if you are into yoga. Though I am pretty new to yoga (only 6 months into my practice), it has quickly become my “Fitness Favorite,” and I especially love that Baby Girl follows along with my moves. When I first learned about BendiBaby, I was impressed by company founder/owner Brooke Kochel’s love for and commitment to the earth and children.

These baby and toddler mats are her own brainchild, and here is what she has to say about them (from the BendiBaby website):

“I designed the mat with an on-the-go mother in mind. With a built-in antibacterial, you can fit the mat in your diaper bag or purse and lay it anywhere for a clean, soft space for “Little Bit”. The uses for the mats are as creative as your family can be: yoga at school, Mommy & Me classes, picnics at the park, diaper changes in public restrooms, fun at festivals, naps at daycare, baby massage with Daddy or Special Needs physical therapy.”

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I bought our own little bit one of these mats, and I absolutely love it. After a thorough inspection, including lots of slobber and chewing, it appears that BendiBaby gets Baby Girl’s full approval, too!!

This really is a nice little mat. It’s the perfect size, fits easily into the diaper bag, and holds up perfectly to her sharp little toofies. It has nice grip, cushioning, and we love the colors!

Here’s the great news… BendiBaby has offered to give one free mat away in this giveaway! If you would love for your little one to have his or her own yoga mat, this is a great opportunity for you! You can enter to win HERE —》 a Rafflecopter giveaway
, and then be sure to click the link below to visit the other great bloggers in this bloghop giveaway for more chances to win!!!

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Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…

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Yoga Off The Mat

“She’s a long way from the sea, but still feels the ocean breeze.”

This sums up so much about where I am right now. I dream of the sea at night. She pulls me through the dark with her sweet siren song. My heart longs for crashing waves and sandy beaches.

My body is far from reaching the flexibility needed for the poses I love, yet I use the poses to stretch into a new body.

I feel the salty breeze caressing my skin and know I’m getting closer.

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The Siren emerges.

The Budding Yogi

To practice yoga is to practice the art of letting go. Let go of expectations.  Embrace what is. Reach for what can be.

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Wild Thing, you make my heart sing!

Little did I know that when I embarked upon this yoga journey in January that it was to become another lifestyle change. It took many years for me to come to yoga because I had this preconceived notion that it was all about holding a pose. Little did I know that there are MANY types of yoga, and now I’ve come to realize that while I still know very little and have so much to learn, yoga is PLAY. It’s flowing, moving, breathing, accepting, embracing, living and loving. To practice yoga is to live in the moment. And there has been no greater teacher of this wisdom (and source of inspiration) than my own Great Bambino Yogi, Baby Girl.

This kid never ceases to astound me. I could brag for hours, but I’ll spare you. Let me just say this… she wakes up doing her own little yoga flow. Throughout the day, she can be found randomly dropping into a myriad of poses and sequences. When I roll out my mat, she drops into different variations of Downward Facing Dog underneath me. She loves inversions and playing on the stability ball. Just as often as she imitates me, I attempt to imitate her.

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Yoga playtime!

So…who is the budding yogi? I’m the beginner here. She’s an old sage. 😉

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Sometimes you just have to stop, drop & selfie!

When Life Hands You Lemons…

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When life hands you lemons… forget about making lemonade. Make lemon meringue pie! Tangy, sweet, deliciousness – THAT is how I choose to live my life!

Work Report:
I’m adjusting quickly and easily to the night shift, thanks to a fantastic support team – my family. Mr. Incredible had a rough start to the week, in order to allow me to load up on sleep before the start of my shift Monday, but he was able to catch up on some sleep thanks to the rest of the fam. His parents and sister live nearby and are INCREDIBLY helpful. Hmmmm… maybe from now on I should refer to them collectively as The Incredibles? Yes, I think so. 😉

So, the big concerns I had before this week started were sleep, eats, and running. How has that all worked out so far?

    1. Sleep: less than what I was getting, but it’s in the 7 – 8 hour range, so that’s actually good. I’ve experienced zero drowsiness while driving home, and been able to fall asleep within 15 minutes of arriving, so that is excellent.

    2. Eats: this has been a bit of a challenge. I’ve not eaten much at all at home this week. Twice, I ate within two hours of waking, and the other two times I only downed a protein drink after running. At work, it’s a different story. I arrive with time to eat my super-duper oatmeal and then I eat every 2-3 hours during the 10.5 hours shift. I’ll have to experiment some to get myself back on my feed at home.

    3. Running: this one turned out easier than I expected. I rearranged my training schedule this week from M/W speed, F/S easy runs to T/Th speed, S long/easy. The only thing I really had to contend with was the guilt I felt at taking time for myself during that first run. After talking to Mr. Incredible and reminding myself that I’m actually getting MORE time with her during her waking hours EVEN WHEN I RUN, I was able to shake that off.

And that leads to the greatest night shift pro – more quality time with family. We’re only four days in, but so far it’s been great!

And now… on to more lemons: today’s run.

First it was a GPS fail. Half mile in, my phone reports to me that I’ve run a mile in five minutes. Well, honey, I’m no Kara Goucher, so I know something’s screwy. I restart my RunKeeper app and try again. Less than a minute in, I’ve apparently run a forty second mile. My HORSE can’t even run that fast!

So, I decide to forget tracking the run and simply proceed on perceived effort. With the battery not being sucked up by my app, I would take pics of all of the snow, ice and frozen ponds.

I turn the camera on and… camera fail. It’s more like storage fail. Not enough space on my phone for more pics because I have over 1,200 photos and videos still waiting for a backup.

Well, then, put the phone up and work on that mind-body connection for my perceived effort run!

Overall, it was a 6.3 mile run to a particular stop sign and back – 1 mile warmup, 4.3 miles hard, 1 mile cool down.

My warmup mile was probably faster than it was scheduled to be, at least I know I had hit the half mile mark in 5 minutes. I was supposed to be warming up at an 11min/mile pace. It was cold, though – lower 20’s without the windchill – so I really just wanted to get warm. Plus, it IS easier to run faster in the cold.

Once I put the phone away, I basically kept myself at the edge of an asthma attack, huffing and puffing and blowing like a winded barrel horse exiting the arena at the Calgary Stampede. For four miles.

There was a lot of inner dialogue going on:

Run hard to that fencepost and then you can take a breather.

Charge up that hill! Lift those knees!

Ok, now just keep the pace on the downhill and keep going.

You can rest at the bottom, but you gotta push it up the next hill!

You can make it to that mailbox. YES, you can!

Skip and dodge the ice like a kid playing hopscotch… Play, have FUN!

Yes, you’re lungs are burning, but do you want to regret not putting extra effort into it, or do you want to collapse in a pool of satisfaction at the end?

Even after pushing hard, I wasn’t really satisfied, though. I’m slower than I used to be. MUCH slower than where I want to be. But that is what drives me – the desire to go further, faster, and be stronger.

Afterwards, baby girl was napping, so I wrapped it up with some stretching, Sun Salutations, plank, side plank and two sessions of 7 minutes with Sima. Yoga is a new endeavor, and I swear, trying to keep up with Sima was about to kill me. Maybe I should be ashamed to admit that about only 14 minutes of yoga, but hey, it is what it is. And you gotta start somewhere, right?

Do you practice yoga? Did you run today? How did it go? How is work treating you this week?