Time For Another Challenge?

Call me crazy, but I think I need another challenge in my life.  I found great satisfaction in the 30-day Bikram Yoga challenge, so I have been brainstorming my next move.  I have a few other ideas related to nutrition and health, but decided to switch things up and do an organizational challenge.  

We have a fair amount of storage space in our house, especially since it's only the two of us, but I cringe when I look through our closets and cabinets.  Why, you ask?  Because things just get haphazardly put away when we finish with them.  And the result leaves us constantly on the hunt for whatever tool,  paint brush, or extension cord we may need.  

I have looked at several other blogs who seem to have the organizational thing figured out.  Like, seriously figured out.  So I am taking notes and putting together a strategy for getting us in tip top shape.

Here is a general overview of what I plan to organize.

1.  Kitchen cabinets
2.  Pantry
3.  Coat closet
4.  Laundry room
5.  Garage
6.  My office
7.  Guest room closets
8.  Linen closet
9.  Guest bathroom cabinet
10.  Chris' home office
11.  Refrigerator/freezer
12.  Kitchen drawers
13.  China hutch
14.  Cleaning products
15.  Master closet
16.  Master bathroom cabinets
17.  Master bathroom drawers
18.  Master bedroom
19.  Filing cabinet
20.  Family room built-ins
21.  Meal planning stuff
22.  Back deck / hot tub area

As we are busy entertaining visitors, I will start this challenge on May 1st, and finish all of the above items in thirty days.  Although many will be cringe-worthy, I will include both before and after photos.  I am really looking forward to getting our house in order!

Wish me luck!  I hope I don't find any spiders in those closets...eek!

30-Day Challenge: Bikram Yoga - Final Update!

Well, I did it!  I completed 30 classes in 30 27 days!  I have to say, it feels really good to reach the finish line of this challenge.  I am so proud of myself for sticking it out and completing what I set out to do.  And I may or may not have shed a tear as I laid down for my final savasana of the challenge.

It has also inspired me to do another challenge.  Not necessarily the physical sort, but something that I can tackle over 30 days that I might not otherwise do.  Stay tuned... I'm sure there will be another challenge in the near future.

Rounding out my challenge updates, I began to notice another cyst forming in my bad knee over the past week or so.  Discouraging, of course, but I still managed to do every yoga class since it started to form. And I am hopeful that it won't lead to a stiff and swollen knee by bursting yet again.  I have been careful not to overdo it.  I have also noticed increased flexibility (though still laughable by most standards), better form and depth in all of the postures, and slightly better balance.  I hope to continue with Bikram 3-4 mornings per week, and perhaps return to Dailey Method on the weekends since it is much nearer to home.

It occurred to me yesterday that three of the past 27 days included: 9 hours at work, 1 hour commuting and 3 hours of yoga!  Phew!

Here are the final 5 postures in the series.

 22.  Ustrasana  (Camel Posture)
This posture is by far the hardest for me.  I can do it outside of the heated room, but as soon as I try it in 105-degree heat, I get nauseous and dizzy.  Even thirty days in!  It is the biggest back bend of the series. The teachers often say the whole class is a warm-up for this pose and the Rabbit pose.  That is one LONG warm-up!  This posture, is however, very beneficial for the body.  It creates maximum compression of the spine, which stimulates the nervous system.  It improves flexibility of the neck and spine, relieves back ache and helps degenerative spinal problems.  By stretching the abdominal organs, it helps digestion and also stretches the throat, thyroid and parathyroid glands.

23.  Sasangasana  (Rabbit Posture)
The biggest back bend is followed by the biggest forward bend.  Maximum extension of the spine increases mobility and elasticity and does the same for the back muscles.  It expedites the feeding of the nervous system with fresh blood and oxygen.  This pose relieves tension in the neck, back and shoulders, and helps alleviate colds, sinus problems and chronic tonsillitis.  Compression of the thyroid and parathyroid glands rejuvenates these glands.  Rabbit is also therapeutic for insomnia, diabetes and depression.

24.  Janushirasana and Paschimotthanasana  (Head to knee pose and stretching pose)
This pose is excellent for the immune and lymphatic systems, increases circulation to the liver, pancreas, thyroid, thymus and intestines.  It improves digestion and is good for allergies and arthritis.

25.  Ardha-Matsyendrasana  (Spine Twisting Posture)
This is the only posture that twists the spine from top to bottom which increases circulation to all the spinal nerves, veins and tissues, and improves elasticity of the spine.  It helps to relieve lower back pain and prevents slipped discs, rheumatism of the spine, scoliosis and arthritis.

26.  Kapalbhati in Vajrasana  (Blowing in Firm Pose)
This pose improves digestion and circulation and increases elasticity of the lungs with every forceful exhale.  You generate prana and push out every ounce of carbon dioxide, replacing it with life-giving oxygen.  It also helps to increase abdominal organs and increases circulation to them.  Bonus: it also stimulates the digestive system!

Keeping myself honest, here are all of my check-ins from my 30 classes!  Feels so good to look through all of these and know that I accomplished my goal!

Happy Friday!!  I am looking forward to my first day off in 27 days!  Sleeping in, here I come!

Snowy Surprise

Just a little snowy photo to brighten up your Thursday!  Isn't it spring break time?  Gotta love Colorado... beautiful and sunny one day, snow the next!  I hope our visitors are ready for some sledding this weekend!

I knew snow was expected, but I didn't think it would amount to much.  I had to clear off 5-6" this morning before the sun came up.  It definitely made for an interesting early morning drive to yoga!

Speaking of yoga, my FINAL yoga challenge post will be up tomorrow!  What a crazy, emotional, exhilarating challenge it has been!  Stay tuned for my final thoughts on completing this challenge...

Happy Wednesday!

Okay, so reading back through recent posts I realized I sound a bit negative and debbie-downer as of late. It's true, there have been a few more downs than ups lately, but I swear I am not depressed.  So, on this gloomy, snow-expected Colorado day, I thought I would bring a little bit of sunshine to make up for my lack of it lately here on the blog.  

Cue the violins... actually cue the banjos, we need something more lively up in here.  

Here are a few things that have made me smile this past week.

This pretty lady, cousin Catherine...
 Because she has truly made me feel like family. It is amazing that despite 7,459 miles between us, we have become so close.  

This before shot of a little project I am working on...
Because you know how I love myself a good project!

For this little reminder...
Because sometimes it's easy to get caught up in the insignificant things, despite your best efforts.

My cowboy...
Because he  will literally do anything to make me smile.  Even if it means riding a fake horse with no legs while attempting to rope a plastic calf.

My REI dividends...
Because I can't wait to go on a huge shopping spree. Ha!

And finally... catching up with two of our favorite people over a tasty Mexican meal last weekend!  (sorry no photos to be had!)

Happy Wednesday!