Yin Yoga for Lower Back Pain

Savasana– Lie on your back with the arms and legs extended. Take up space with your entire body. Turn your palms to face up and let the shoulders and hips melt into the floor. Close your eyes and start to draw your awareness to the breath. Focus on extending the inhales and exhales. Notice if there are any areas in your body that are tight or tense and concentrate on sending the breath into those parts of the body. Spend as much time as you would like here.

 Reclining Twist– draw your knees up towards your chest and with the shoulders rooted down extending your arms out long. Gently let both of your knees fall over to the right. Stay here for a few minutes and when you are ready to switch sides, lift the knees and lower them to the left. After you have completed both sides, spend some time with the knees drawn up towards the chest gently rocking from side to side massaging the lower back.

Sphinx– Come onto your belly. Place the forearms onto the mat with the elbows just below the shoulders and lift the chest. If this doesn’t feel well in your lower back, walk the elbows a bit forward; which will lower the chest closer to the floor. If there are any sharp pains or aches then release the chest to the floor. Simply lying on your belly may be a good enough back bend for you. Remain in this pose for up to 5 minutes pressing down gently with the forearms, pelvis and toes. To release, lower the chest to the floor and rest your cheek to one side for a few moments then press up and come onto your back.

Locust- From your belly, extend arms long next to your torso. Begin to lift the head, chest, arms and feet off the ground. Extend through the arms and the legs and roll the shoulder heads back towards your hips. Press your pelvis into the ground without tensing up in the glutes. Stay here for 5 deep breaths, rest and repeat twice more. (You may want to put a blanket underneath your pelvis for extra padding)

 Butterfly– From a seated position, bring the soles of the feet together and draw them away from you creating a diamond like shape with your legs. Allowing your back to round, fold forward, resting the hands on your feet or on the ground in front of you. Let your head be heavy here and keep the sit bones pressing gently into the mat. Option to elevate the hips with a blanket or block if needed. Stay here for 3-5 minutes and slowly roll yourself back up and extend your legs.

Childs Pose-Come onto your hands and knees. Bring your big toes together and sit back onto your heels. Lower your chest to rest on your thighs. If you would like, you can separate the knees wide and rest the chest towards the floor between the thighs. Extend your arms forward. Stay here for 3-5 minutes and to release walk the hands back toward the knees as you slowly lift the torso.

Standing forward fold- Stand up and separate your feet hips width distance apart. Soften your knees as you hinge forward at the hips and fold your torso over your legs. Bring your hands to opposite elbows. Let the head be heavy and continue to keep a gentle bend in the knees. Stay here for a just a couple of minutes and to release, take the hands to the ground and bend the knees lowering into a squat. You can work back and forth between the two as many times as you would like.

Savasana-Stay here as long as you would like.

Be who you want

For what its worth: Its never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit; stop whenever you want. You can change or you can stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again.

~F. Scott Fitzgerald

What I’m Digging: July 

It’s the dog days of summer and while the heat is slowly starting to bring me down, I thought it would be a good opportunity to reflect on the things that bring me joy.
These are the things I’m currently digging:

Matcha tea. I picked up some amazingly yummy matcha while in Crested Butte and its rocking my world. I drink it every morning and it starts my day off right. We also have a really great place in OKC, T An Urban Teahouse, and their iced matcha is like hitting the jackpot. It’s like nectar straight from the gods. Oh and don’t even get me started on matcha lattes. It’s goodness like you wouldn’t believe.

My pink moleskine and my Desire Map planner. These are with me at all times. Seriously, I never leave home without them. Every morning as I’m drinking my matcha, I spend some time planning my day and journaling. This helps me to stay focused on things that need to get done while keeping myself inspired and connected to what matters most to me.

Time alone. Since our time in Colorado, when I had hours to myself every single day to do anything and everything I wanted, I have realized how important it is for me to spend time alone. It’s the perfect opportunity for me to find peace and joy while recharging my batteries. The older I get the more sacred I find this time and the more it becomes a priority. I’ve even started blocking out time on my calendar that’s just for me.

Podcasts. Can’t stop. Won’t stop. I listen to podcasts a good chunk of the day. My current favorites are Being Boss, Wellness Wonderland and Over the Moon. These are not only entertaining, but they are inspiring as well. I keep my moleskine nearby and will occasionally take notes, especially when I hear anything from Gabrielle Bernstein or Danielle Laporte. These have been known to get me through some pretty rough days at my full time gig.

You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero. I read this book on my kindle and I loved it so much that I bought a paperback copy so I could read it again and write notes in it. I’m a sucker for a physical book and you better believe I highlight, stick post-its, and scribble notes up and down that thing. This book has lit me on fire. At times I feel like she wrote this book specifically for me. Every word jumps out of the pages directly into the depths of my soul. When I find a book I love that inspires and moves me, it stays on rotation and gets reread at least once a year. This is definitely one of those. In case you were wondering what the others were: The Untethered Soul, Desire Map, A Return to Love, FireStarter Sessions and The Alchemist. I’m a big reader. Books are my jam.

What’s currently bringing you joy?

lessons learned from the mountains

I went on vacation a couple of weeks ago and like I typically do when I go away for an extended time, I used the time away as an opportunity to reflect. My husband spent most of the day riding his mountain bike which left a lot of time for me to be alone. Spending some time soaking up the sweet mountain air in Crested Butte with little to no phone/internet service (which proved to be a blessing) was the perfect opportunity for me to disconnect, recharge, reflect and come to some pretty important realizations.

1. I hate social media.  Not having much internet service allowed for a much needed digital detox. I was able to post things but not able to go through my news feed and I must say, damn it was nice. Any time I get on Facebook it typically sucks me in for an extended amount of time and more often than not leaves me feeling worse than I did before I opened it up. Whether it brings up feelings of comparison, judgement, self doubt, jealousy, fomo (fear of missing out), or whatever, I never feel positive feelings or accomplished. I usually just feel mind sucked and like I wasted my time. What I realized was no social media means more time to connect with myself and others and gives me time to find other ways to feel inspired through books, journaling, going for long walks, spending time with friends etc. I’ve eliminated social media from my phone and iPad and only check it once every couple of days. This makes for a much happier, more present Lindsey.

2. My journal is a necessity.  I’ve typically got a shit storm going on in my head from the time I wake up until I pass out at night. Without my journal and having that space to release all the junk my brain has the death grip on, I would go crazy. Like, Girl, Interrupted crazy. I am obsessed with my journals and although the words written in them don’t mean much to others, they are incredibly valuable to me. I love looking back and reading old journals and watching how much I’ve grown and evolved over the years. Sometimes, I tear pages out and rip them up and one day I plan to destroy them all, but for now they are super important.  I wrote in my journal A LOT while we were on vacation and it helped me work through some stuff that was weighing heavy on my heart. My journal=my free psychiatrist.

3. Friends come and go. And that’s ok.  As we get older our paths start to go in different directions. We get married, have babies, work steady jobs (some of us), spend more time as a family, etc. Our time becomes more and more precious and it’s harder to stay in touch with those that we aren’t as emotionally connected to. As our priorities change, so do our friendships. We hold on to the ones we love the most as life draws us away from the relationships that require more work. And that’s ok. I believe that people come in and out of our lives at different times for very specific reasons.

4. There’s no such thing as balance.  This one is huge! I’ve struggled for a quite a long time trying to find “balance” in my life. After reading FireStarter sessions by my badass girl crush Danielle Laporte, I’ve come to understand that balance doesn’t exist. We are constantly striving for more and more and the more we chase that elusive thing called balance, the more we derail our plans for success. If we are able somehow to find balance in our lives, just like anything else, it’s only temporary. Once I was able to let go of the idea that things had to be a certain way in my life, things were able to run much more smoothly.   Again, this makes for a much happier Lindsey.

5. Nothing anyone else does is my business.  Everyone is marching to the beat of their own drum and living life based on their journey. Not mine. Sometimes putting myself in others shoes is necessary in order to understand why they do certain things, but in the end it’s not my place to pass any judgements. We all have our own ideas about how to live life and while we may not all agree, we have to find compassion and kindness and remember that we are all doing the best we can. It’s far easier to extend love towards one another than to allow resentment or judgement to take over. Choose Love. Its pretty amazing stuff.

7 Yoga Poses to Build Strength

The following poses are great for runners and cyclists who are looking to build more strength in order to maximize their performance. This is an excellent way to add some cross training into your particular sport and prevent injuries. From endurance athletes to weekend warriors these will help strengthen muscles while increasing balance and flexibility. Do this sequence a couple of times a week after an easier ride or run staying in each pose for a few breaths.

Downward Facing Dog How to:  1. Start in a high push up position with the shoulders over the wrists and feet about hips width distance apart.  2. Lift the hips up and back and press the heels towards the floor to come into an inverted “V” shape. The heels should disappear behind the toes.  3. Spread your fingers and press your palms and knuckles into the mat. Pull your navel in towards your spine and gently press your chest back towards your thighs which  4. Stay here for a few breaths and to release slowly lower your knees to the floor.  Benefits:  Stretches the shoulders, hamstrings, calves, arches, and hands Strengthens the arms and legs Plank 1. Start on hands and knees with shoulders over the wrists. 2. Spread your fingers and press your palms and knuckles into the mat pressing the floor away from you. 3. Tuck all ten toes under and step your feet back hips width distance part so that entire body is parallel to the floor. 4. Pull your navel in towards your spine and draw the shoulders blades away from each other lengthen your tailbone towards your heels. 5. Stay anywhere from 30 seconds to 1 minute and gently lower your knees back to the floor to exit the pose. Benefits:  Strengthens the arms, wrists, and spine and tones the abdomen. Side plank 1. From plank start to shift your weight into the right hand as you roll to the pinky edge side of your right foot. 2. Stack the left leg on top of the right and take the left hand either to your hip or extend the arm up towards the ceiling. 3. Engage your core and lift the hips up away from the floor. 4. Press firmly into the right hand while keeping the arm extended. 5. Stay for 30 seconds to a minute and switch sides. Benefits:  Strengthens the arms, belly, legs and core muscles.Stretches and strengthens the wrists. Improves sense of balance. High Crescent lunge 1. From a standing position, step your left foot back as much as you can. 2. Bend your right knee so it’s directly above your ankle and keep your left leg strong and active with the heel lifted away from the floor. 3. Draw the arms up and overhead while you allow your shoulders to relax into the back. 4. Pull your navel in while lengthening your tailbone towards the floor. 5. Stay for a few breaths and to release bring the hands down to frame the right foot and step the left up. Repeat on the left side. Benefits:  Stretches the groins and strengthens the legs and arms. Warrior 3 1. From high crescent lunge with right leg forward, keep your navel drawn in as you start to hinge your torso forward keeping the chest lifted. 2. Press more firmly into your right foot as you shift your weight forward lifting the left foot off the ground. 3. Begin to extend your arms directly forward as your chest and left leg become parallel with the floor while you stand on the right leg. Keep a gentle bend in the right knee to prevent from locking out in the joint. 4. Keep the front of the hips pointed down towards the ground, energize through the left leg and flex your left foot so the toes are pointing down and the heel is pressing back. 5. Stay for a few breaths and to release slowly lower left foot down to meet the right and stand tall. Benefits: Strengthens the ankles, legs, shoulders and muscles of the back and tones the abdomen. Improves balance and posture. Chair  1. Stand with feet together, toes pointing forward and stretch the arms overhead allowing the shoulders to relax down the back. 2. Start to bend the knees and send the hips back (as if sitting in a chair) keeping the tailbone reaching towards the ground and navel drawn in. 3. Shift the knees back over the ankles as much as possible and hold for a few deep breaths. The weight should be more in the heels of the feet allowing the toes to be relaxed or lifted off the ground. 4. To release, extend the knees and stand tall. Benefits: Strengthens the ankles, thighs, calves, and spine. Stretches shoulders and chest. Locust 1. Lie on your belly with the legs together and arms extending back towards feet palms facing up. Let your forehead rest on the ground to start. 2. Begin by lifting the head and chest and floating the feet off the ground. Start to lift the arms and continue reaching them back towards your feet. 3. Allow your glutes to stay relaxed and reach strongly through the legs all the way out to the toes. (If it’s too much to lift the toes, keep the feet on the ground.) 4. Stay for just a couple of breaths and slowly lower back down. Benefits: Strengthens the muscles of the spine, buttocks, and backs of the arms and legs. Stretches the shoulders, chest, belly, and thighs.

Birthday intentions 

I’m turning 32 today. Another year older means more wrinkles and gray hairs but it also means so many more experiences. I’m the happiest I’ve ever been in my life and a huge part of that is that I’m more connected to myself than I’ve ever been.  I’ve found confidence and peace within myself that I didn’t even know existed. My heart is so full that sometimes I feel like it might burst. I have incredible friends that mean the world to me as well as the support from my family in every thing I do. Not to mention a husband who truly is my best friend in the entire world. He always has my back and pushes me to be the best version of myself every single day. Without him, I don’t know where I would be. 

One thing I’ve learned in the past year is that as much as I can receive love from others, I’m even more capable of giving the same love back, if not more. I can love with my whole heart and not have to hold anything back. 

My intentions for the next year are to do everything with an open mind and a full heart. 

To have more patience and compassion not just with others but myself as well.

To stay grounded and connected to my truth and march to the beat of my own drum without worrying about what others will think of me. 

To remember that we are all on our own journey and doing exactly what it is we are supposed to do, walking our own paths in our lives. Judgements I place on others only take away pieces of my own happiness.

 And at the end of the day, regardless of the highs and the lows, I can always come back to the place deep within my soul and know that everything is going to be okay. 

My favorite quote of all time is by Jack Kerouac: “Be in love with your life, every minute of it.” And that is how I intend to love each day.