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2009 Life Inventory…

Ok it’s started…I’m going through the various events, accomplishments, challenges, and overall quality of my life in 2009.  This year instead of just making a statement of “this happened” to myself, I decided to choose 3 lessons I learned this year and take them into 2010.

One of the biggest themes, trains of thought and concerns for me is the concept of the “value of my time”.  Sometime around September I started making decisions based on things that truly add value to my life.  For instance, driving 1 hour to teach 1 hour and then home, pay a babysitter for the 3 hours…and get paid for only 1 hour…hmm not worth it on a few levels.  Another decision I made was being aware of how much my time is worth and not feeling bad or guilty in the least for turning down work or play invites.  Also, who I spend my time with is much more important now and making this choice clear has helped relieve a lot of stress I used to feel.

What’s your time worth?

Are you spending too much time doing things that don’t add value to your life…or that you are not passionate about?  If there is no way to remove these “things” from your life, consider adding some activities that do make you happy and that you ARE passionate about.

I’m looking forward to sharing the next 2 lessons I’ll take with me into 2010.  Check back during the week for updates!

Are the Holidays Stressing You Out?

So, I was out for a quick run to Target earlier this week. Key Phrase: Quick Run. Um, yah, forget about it. Well, thankfully I wasn’t dragging my daughter through the craziness, but I’m thinking she would have handled it better than I did.

I was weaving through people, trying to just get some quick items and then be done with the mayhem. I passed couples with multiple children fighting in the aisles, people stopped in a daze everywhere, crying children, laughing children, banging carts, price check calls over the loudspeaker. I started thinking, wow, this SUCKS! Everyone seemed frustrated, stressed and overwhelmed–INCLUDING ME! I had even been muttering under my breath the whole time for people to get the $@!!XX of my way! It was the same in the parking lot, though I was pretty zen at first and found a spot quickly.

So, what’s the deal then? Why are we all so insane right now? Can it really be just the act of getting presents for others or a rush to finish some THING before the end of the year? Maybe all of the above, but it made me start thinking… Why are we all stress monkeys this time of the year?

I wish I could give you an answer, the antidote…a mantra to say over and over again until calm washes over you and you can teleport back to your home unfettered. I can’t. I am also struggling with the stress and have been increasingly anxious over the past few days too!

Here’s what I’m going to do try to alleviate some of the stress.

1. Try to figure out why you are feeling so strung out. Write it out and put the paper away. Just get it all out. Even if it seems a bit ridiculous and whiny. Don’t write this for anyone. I get stressed at the holidays because of my expectations of the holiday and being around family. I start to feel like everyone is going to take control of the situation when I don’t really need to be in control either.

2. Spend time each night listening to soothing music, having a cup of tea, and reading. (I did this last night and it actually helped, but took awhile).

3. Stay Active…even if you can’t do a workout at home like you normally due to the staring eyes of family or other visitors, don’t despair. Get outside, take a walk, plan a yoga class, try a new gym. Tomorrow morning, I’m going to a yoga class I’ve wanted to check out for a long time!

4. Drink Plenty of Water and Try to eat as healthy as possible. I can’t stress this enough. I’ve been in and out of headache land for the last 2 days now because of one thing… I was guilty of mindless munching on food that causes headaches for me…excess sugar!!!

5. If the grandparents or other trustworthy relatives are visiting, let them watch the kids and go get a massage or see a movie. My husband and I are doing that starting Monday.

6. Feeling overwhelmed due to excess noise, activity or just general loudness? Just go to another room, take some deep breaths and then go back to the party when you feel a little more relaxed. I guess I’m really sensitive to loud noises and especially battling tv/computer/voices sounds… I did this a lot and it really helped me enjoy my time with my in laws.

I’ll let you know how the rest of the week goes. I’m already feeling a little more relaxed and I haven’t even started my week of yoga classes!

How are you staying sane, relaxed, and joyful during this holiday season?

Do These Pilates Moves Right Now

I just got an email from a client who is stuck in a hotel over the holidays and wants to know what she can do right now to do some pilates…

Here’s what I told her:

Pelvic Lift – 10 up and down, 10 pulses

Single Leg Stretch

Single Straight Leg Stretch

Criss Cross

Swimming

Prone Leg Lifts & Pulses

Planks – Do 10 Leg Lifts each Leg.

Side Plank with Twist Reaching Under
But words aren’t enough…I know!  So, here’s a quick video I shot while my daughter was napping today to show you the exercises! Don’t laugh I’m wearing my geeky glasses and my baggie bum lounge pants.  Gotta love a lazy weekend!

Quick Pilates Workout from Anne Samoilov on Vimeo.

Easy Ways to Get a Great Pilates Reformer Workout at Home!

(…even without expensive studio equipment)

So, you’ve bought your reformer…Maybe it’s a home version of the studio machines you are used to working on. Maybe it’s a sub-$500 model that uses a bungee style chord instead of the springs.  Maybe it’s a resistance band setup that hooks up to a door and mimics a reformer.  Whatever you have chosen, I’m here to tell you that you still can get a great workout at home…

Here are a few simple things to remember and try…the first one being my personal favorite!!

  • Take A Few Private Pilates Sessions with a Certified Instructor – on your machine
  • Use the DVD or Manual that came with your machine to get started.
  • Focus on Stabilizing your Body and Breathing before you do any movement.
  • Try to imagine every single exercise coming from your center.
  • Make sure to do exercises that move you in opposition.
  • Move slowly through the exercises.  (You don’t have to do this all the time, but try to vary your pace)
  • Make sure you do all of the following types of movements: Flexion, Extension, Rotation, and Stabilization.
  • Get a New Workout – Ultimate Pilates Workout
  • Download Audio Workouts from Lynda Lippin
  • Read The Pilates Body and The Female Body Break-Through
  • Add another activity like interval training, circuit strength training, or yoga to make your pilates workouts even more effective.

Now, that you know what to do … get to it… Let me know if you have any questions about your machine or if you want additional exercises for specific body areas and issues!