Tag Archives: workout at home

Baby & Mommy Yoga

Good morning, beautiful people!

As promised, today I will tell you about Sofia’s baby yoga classes.

Those of you who have followed or have known me for a while are well aware of my love for yoga. What you may now know is how it all started.

My first encounter with yoga happened when I was still in elementary school. I remember my dad pulling out this book with pictures of strange looking people. *Not to discount this guy’s talent, it’s actually quite impressive what he’s doing here… but, c’mon, you  we all know what I’m talking about! Haha!* 

old fashioned yoga

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Anyhow, let’s move on. I remember being very intrigued, but at the same time being super confused. Breathing through the pain? Moving slowly? Breathing on counts? To add to my confusion, it went pretty much against my rhythmic gymnastics training and I didn’t see the point of standing in a pose where nothing was pulling. *I was flexible, remember?*

I never read that book *No colorful beautiful pictures, remember?*; nonetheless, I my fascination never faded away and I kept on leafing through the pages every now  and then. Fast forward to my early twenties, curiosity was still there. What was different is that now I wanted to learn. I’m turning 30 later this year *gasp* and I’m addicted to yoga. I love how practicing yoga makes me feel and don’t plan on quitting. Those stretches feel way too good! *It’s crazy how our bodies change, don’t you think?*

yoga

 

I actually wanted to attend prenatal yoga in addition to my prenatal aqua class. Unfortunately, both class were held at the same time, so I improvised.

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Sofia’s first yoga class happened when she was almost 2 months old. I was thrilled to have that experience with her, yet I had no idea as to what to expect.

Well… It was interesting! Definitely not what I expected, but there is nothing wrong with it! I guess going into it I was thinking yoga flows… deep stretches… What I forgot to account for is BABIES! *Duh?!* Also, generally baby classes are great for socializing; thus, majority of moms were beginners and we had to go at their speed. *Once again, there is nothing wrong with it. Just regular overambitious self! Haha!*

2nd baby yoga class

Babies LOVE Savasana

All jokes aside, there is a big deal I learnt at baby yoga classes!

Probably, the coolest part was learning various stretches for babies. Sofia still enjoys them!

First, we would warm up babies’ various muscle groups, just like we do for ourselves, starting with upper body.

Exercise #1

Lay baby on her back on the floor. Hold on to her wrist. Lift baby’s arms up and then bring them down. Repeat 5 times.

Exercise #2

Begin in the same position as before, but alternate sides: Right arm – up, left arm – down, switch sides. Repeat 5 times.

Exercise #3

Still on the floor, spread baby’s arm out to the sides, bring them on across her chest, and spread them out again. Repeat 5 times.

The next stage is a lower body warm up.

Exercise #1

With baby lying on her back, hold her feet or lower legs. Gently push one leg up toward her chest while extending the other. Switch sides. Repeat 3 times on each side.

Exercise #2

Now do the same, but with both legs simultaneously. First push both  knees to the stomach, then extend to the floor. Repeat 3 times.

Exercise #3

It’s time to do a bicycle! Guide your baby’s legs in a circular motion as if pedaling a bike. Do the movement 10 times, then reverse the direction.

Exercise #4

With the baby on her back, lift her legs perpendicular to the floor. Gently stretch them to the sides, like a mini split, then bring legs back in the Buddha pose while crossing legs one over another. Repeat 3 times while alternating the leg on top.

Exercise #5

While on the back, bring baby’s knees to the stomach. Move the legs in a clockwise circle, then reverse in a counterclockwise motion. Repeat 3 times in each direction.

At this point, the baby is warmed up for full body stretches.

*In this video Sofia is 4 months old. I was simply playing around with her while doing some of these stretches.*

Exercise #1

Lay baby on her back. Hold baby’s right wrist with your right hand and baby’s left foot with your left hand. Gently pull baby’s left foot to her right shoulder while bringing her right hand across to her left hip (baby’s leg should be above her arm). Repeat 3 times, then switch sides.

Exercise #2

With baby’s feet in your hands, gently bring them to your baby’s nose. Don’t force it. Repeat 3 times.

Exercise #3

Beginning with your baby on the floor on her back, grasp her forearms (if your baby still doesn’t hold her neck properly, you can hold your baby under her arms while still supporting your baby’s neck with your fingers). Gently bring your baby to a sitting position, then to standing. Then in reverse: back to a seated position and, finally,  on the back. Repeat 3 times.

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I may have forgotten a move or two, but you get the gist of it. Sofia absolutely loves these exercises. Believe me, you will be rewarded with multiple smiles while bonding with your baby at the same time!!!

You may also be curious as to how YOU can practice yoga with a baby by your side. No worries, mama! You can still do it!

First of all, the baby can be cooing right NEXT TO you.

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Your baby can be ON you.

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You can also hold your baby in your ARMS. Most importantly, make sure that you are stable in any given pose. If needed, stand by the wall or hold on to a chair for extra stability; but if you’re still in doubt, just put your baby down. It’s better to be safer than sorry.

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Don’t forget to make it a fun activity for both of you. Babies love interaction!

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Have you done yoga with your baby? How do you engage your baby?

xoxo
Olena

 

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My Postpartum Fitness Journey

Salut, mes amis!

How have you been?!

Spring is almost here! Even though it is still very cold here in Montreal, I am full of excitement. Spring is my favourite season. I love it because everything around starts to bud and blossom, coming back to life. I can’t wait to go for long walks again and finally start training for my first half marathon. I bet Sofia will have a blast in her stroller accompanying me!

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Throwback to fall

 

Many of you have asked about my fitness journey since giving birth in July. The truth is I had to, as they say, proceed with caution. Surprisingly, I was given very little guidelines at the hospital in regards to how to recover from having a cesarean. Naturally, I did have a few hiccups here and there when I would ‘push’myself too much without even knowing it and I would end up in a lot of pain that would prevent me from moving completely. I had to be cautious and patient, which, as you can only imagine, is not very easy for an active person like myself.

I started by taking short stroller walks around the block, then slowly increased the distance to 3 and eventually 5 km.

At about 8 weeks postpartum, I began a baby yoga class *read more here* with Sofia, 4 weeks later – a mama dance class. *More on that here.*

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Heading to our first baby yoga class

In October, the incision sight didn’t bother me as much. I thought it would be a perfect time to jump back into it by incorporating 30-day challenges into my daily routine *read more here*: I started with a squat challenge in October, then embarked on an ab challenge in November, and finally ended up with an  upper body challenge, which I found on Pinterest, in December.*Please, let me know if you have a good link for proper credit*.

30 day upper body challenge

In the beginning of January I knew I was ready for more, so I signed myself up not for one but for two challenges, both were totally free and could be done from the comfort of home.

One of them was a 30-day Yoga Camp by Adriene.

I’ve been following Adriene for close to 2 years now. I’m honestly in love with her videos! I totally think we could be best friends if I ever got to meet her. I love Adriene’s approach to yoga: Find What Feels Good. What was different about this yoga camp is that Adriene focused on mental well-being as well. I thoroughly enjoyed daily mantras and emails to go with it.

yoga challenge

If you wish, you can start Yoga Camp at any time by signing up here. *You will thank me later!*

Another challenge that I embarked on was an 8-week challenge by Tone It Up.

I admire Karena and Katerina so much. They are best friends in real life, great fitness role models and entrepreneurs. They were able to build a great online community, which I’ve been a part of for over a year now.You can opt in to get their nutritional plan and buy extra video workouts (which I did), but it is not necessary as there is always a free option available. I love their energy and continuous support through social media and emails.

resistance band

It never occurred to me that there is a big Tone It up community in Canada, including Montreal! To my surprise, I was recently ‘found’ through one of my hashtags I used on Instagram by one of the girls from Montreal community, so I am really looking forward to meeting them at the next meet up!

The next 8-week challenge starts within a few days. To hold myself accountable, I’d like to show you my progress from the previous challenge. There are no drastic changes as I haven’t made any changes to my diet. It is more important for me to be able to nurse my baby for as long as I can rather to lose an extra pound or two. That being said, I love how much stronger I have become in such a short period of time. It’s awesome to be in control of my body again!

progress

What was your fitness journey after having a baby?

*Haven’t read my birth story? Head over here!*

xoxo
Olena

 

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From Getting Hair Pulled Out At Elementary School To A Cardio Kickboxing Workout To Burn Fat At Home

When I was about 8 years old, there was this boy in my class who kind of liked me. You might think it’s cute. But let me tell you! It was not. He had a very strange way of showing his attraction to me by constantly hurting me.

boys

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Yup… Not cute at all…

Anyhow, I remember how upset I was all the time. And then it happened… You can call it a father-daughter bonding moment. I kid you not, my dad taught me a few kickboxing tricks for self-defense. I SWEAR!!!! I even remember how my dad showed me how to throw someone over the shoulder. Now, mind you, I never did it, but being thrown over my dad’s shoulder was scary and fun at the same time. *How else do you think my dad could teach me? Of course, by example! Haha!*

One of my most favorite things, though, was kicking the glove. It was INTENSE!

kickboxing target

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*I totally imagined that boy’s face! Could you blame me?*

what doesn't kill you makes you stronger

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*Timing is everything! Haha!*

Back to the subject, somehow this got me thinking and I realized that I haven’t done any martial art workout since then, which is kinda silly. Why? Because there are so many benefits of kickboxing! Here are some of them:

  • Burn calories
  • Re-energize
  • Take out stress
  • Tone your body
  • Self-defense
  • Boost confidence
  • Improve coordination

You need to know the basic moves.

kickboxing basic moves

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*Fine, you don’t have to look THAT serious! Oh, and you can smile! In fact you SHOULD smile!*

Here is a pretty amazing kickboxing workout from Fitness Blender that I am planning on including in my routine tonight.

Please, remember to stay hydrated throughout the workout and to fuel properly before and after.

Are you a fan of martial workouts? What are your favorite moves?

xoxo
Olena

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Barre Burner + Samba Dromme Super Fun Workout At Home

It was a suppppeeeer duppppeeeeer cold day in Montreal yesterday!

Montreal weather

Thank God, it was a day off and I didn’t have to go to work! I am pretty sure that you won’t judge me if I told you that I opted for a workout at home. *Don’t you dare judge me! Haha!*

Also, I saw this picture on another blog and it inspired me to do something different today, just to prove myself once and for all that I don’t need winter clothes to hide anything!

Winter benefits

I decided to go for a 10-minute Barre Burner workout to make my legs shake a bit. I guess, it’s an addiction of mine ever since my first choreography class back in my rhythmic gymnastics days. But then, who doesn’t love that feeling, right?!

I also coupled it with a Samba Dromme dance workout.

Solibeat

I bought this CD a couple of months back, because it was released by one of my favorite bloggers, Gina. In my opinion, it is worth every single penny I paid for it: it’s super fun, energetic and definitely gets your heart pumping! And the live music is just incredible! If you’d like, you can find and purchase it here.  I thought you might want to get a glimpse of it, so here is a teaser I found on Youtube.

By the way, just in case you’re wondering, the previous video was done by her too!

Anyhow, by the end of the workout, I felt absolutely great and sweaty. I decided to finish it off with a stretching session that I shared with you last month.

FUN FACT: Since our puppy is only 8 weeks old, she gets SUPER excited about EVERYTHING. As a result, I figured I’d workout in a spare room on the second floor to make sure she doesn’t run around after me and I can get a quality training session. Guess what?! The little munchkin climbed the stairs all by herself for the first time just to see me! *That’s what I call TRUE love!*

German Shepherd - 8 weeks - stairs

Please, disregard the poor quality of the picture, I had to react fast to the excited screaming of my husband! Haha!

What are your favorite dance workouts? What do you do to keep your pets away while you’re exercising?

xoxo
Olena

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