Browsed by
Category: yoga

Yoga Workout Playlist No. 5 (Spotify Playlist)

Yoga Workout Playlist No. 5 (Spotify Playlist)

Alright, so another playlist means another story. (See my last story and playlist here.)

I’ve been *really* bad with stretching in the past 6 months. I foam rolled for maybe 5 minutes before my workouts. But aside from that, I didn’t stretch at all, and I didn’t go to yoga once this semester.

So about two weeks ago, my lack of stretching finally caught up with me. I developed a weird tightness in my left forearm and wrist, which was 100% because (1) I’ve been doing pull-ups every day and (2) I went heavier too fast on some pulling exercises. My advice – don’t do that.

On top of that, my back and hamstrings became so tight that I had a strange twitch run up and down my leg a few times for a day or two. That tightness was definitely due to starting a new dead lift program and not stretching after each *brutal* workout.

So yeah. I was asking for an injury. And I don’t think sitting, studying, and typing on a computer for exams basically 24/7 for two weeks helped the situation either.

I took all of these symptoms as a sign to just chill for a few days despite how much I love getting outside, getting sweaty, and taking a mental break every day to work out. I did some serious foam rolling coupled with some yoga movements. I even got two massages, which were magical but also kinda painful in the best way possible.

When I returned to my regularly scheduled workouts, I felt super fresh and flexible. I even hit a few new PRs (personal records). So chilling for 3-4 days was 100% the right decision.

Moral of the story?

Go to yoga once per week if you can!!! In the very least, spend 5 minutes doing a *really* thorough warm-up and at least 5 minutes stretching after a workout. You could also foam roll for 10 minutes every day. In my opinion, 10 minutes is a completely manageable amount of time. I’m holding myself to 10 minutes of stretching every day to avoid weird cramps, tightness, and soreness . . .

and I’ll be listening to the playlist below while doing it. 🙂

P.S. See the links to the playlist, my Spotify profile, and my favorite stretches below this image.

Hungry Gator Gal's Yoga Workout Playlist No. 5

My Spotify profile

This playlist on Spotify

My favorite yoga stretches

 

Questions:

  1. Do you stretch every day?
  2. If so, for how long do you stretch?
  3. Do you have any favorite yoga playlists? If so, please share a link to the playlist in the comments! 🙂
  4. What are your favorite stretches or yoga poses? In the comments, please share links to photos of the stretches if you can! 🙂

 

Related HGG Posts:

 

Yoga Workout Playlist No. 4

Yoga Workout Playlist No. 4 from Hungry Gator Gal (Spotify playlist)
Yoga Workout Playlist No. 3

Yoga Playlist No. 3 from Hungry Gator Gal (Spotify playlist)

Yoga Workout Playlist No. 2

Yoga Workout Playlist No. 2 from Hungry Gator Gal (@spotify playlist included)

10 Goals to Improve Overall Fitness in 2015

10 Goals to Improve Overall Fitness in 2015

What’s one way to ensure you achieve fitness goals? Share them with thousands of people . . .

Below you’ll find 10 goals I’m pursuing to improve my overall fitness in 2015, in no particular order of importance. Some goals are easy “check-off-the-list” things or habits I plan to change. Other goals are HARD and are going to take serious commitment.

These goals are personalized to my life, but please tweak them to fit YOUR life, whether you’re a seasoned fitness fanatic or an exercise newbie. No two persons are at the same fitness level, and you should be realistic when setting goals.

I’ve explained why I’m pursuing the goals below. If you’re an athlete, training for a specific event or just a fitness geek, I HIGHLY suggest reading the reasons why I’m pursuing the goals because they’re probably applicable to your life too.

Click on the links within this post to learn more information, such as where body composition assessments are offered near you.

You now have permission to call me out if you see me slacking! Feel free to let me know what your 2015 fitness goals are in the comments section. 🙂

 

Goal #1: Complete a functional movement screen (FMS)/mobility assessment.

Why:

  1. Identify and assess muscular imbalances.
  2. Correct my form.
  3. Prevent injuries.

Yes, I am damn proud of my ability to squat four or five rounds of 10 reps at nearly 200 pounds. Yes, I can do 60+ perfect-form push-ups in 2 minutes. However, if I’m doing these moves incorrectly, I’m putting myself at risk for an injury that I literally cannot afford. If I can’t perform physically as well as mentally in the next 2.5 years of law school, I put myself at risk for losing my scholarship.

I think anyone, whether you’re a seasoned lifter or just learning how to strength train, can benefit from a mobility assessment. Identifying and correcting muscular imbalances allows you to strengthen weak muscles and prevent injuries from happening. You can visit the FMS website to find a professional near you who gives the assessment.

 

Goal #2: Complete two body composition assessments (one in the January/February, one in August/September).

Why:

  1. Determine my body fat percentage.
  2. Assess how my nutrition and exercise habits are impacting my athletic performance.
  3. Improve my athletic performance.

I’ve suspected for a year or so that my body fat percentage is in the female athlete range, and I want to confirm or deny this suspicion. Depending upon the number, I may or may not pursue, in a healthy way, a goal of dropping a few percentage points to improve my speed and endurance.

UF offers a BodPod test, one of the most accurate body fat assessment tools, for $50, and the follow-up test months later costs $35. Click here to see where the BodPod test is offered near you. I’ll be sure to write about the experience when I do it.

 

Goal #3: Complete a running assessment and possibly a few coaching lessons, depending upon the cost.

Why: Analyze and work on correcting my running form.

I’ve been dealing with shin splints on and off since August, which I’m attributing the fact that I literally never ran before joining the Army ROTC program.

It was probably too much running too fast and not with proper form. I’ve recognized and corrected some of my own problems, like my tendency to heel strike, which has allowed me to increase my speed and endurance. However, I know I may have a muscular imbalance that’s contributing to my shin pain.

If you’re a running coach or know of a good, reasonably priced running coach in the Gainesville, Florida area, email me at bkkolota@gmail.com!

 

Goal #4: Complete at least one 4- to 6-mile run per week.

Why:

  1. Increase endurance.
  2. Mental relaxation.

Endurance is NOT my strong point. I LOVE sprints, HIIT and basically any short, intense workout. However, I’ve recognized that completing even one moderate distance run per week at a moderate pace makes the short intense workouts easier and totally relaxes me.

In other words, I think I’m actually enjoying running now?!?

 

Goal #5: Complete a sprint workout at least once per week.

Why:

  1. ABS baby!
  2. Increase speed.

Read this article about the benefits of sprinting and you’ll be on your way to the track . . . like now.

 

Goal #6: Commit to writing down the weights used during strength workouts.

Why: Track my strength increases.

I write down workouts in terms of what I did and how many reps, but I’ve never tracked how much weight I’m using to see if my strength has increased.

I know I’m stronger than a year ago, but I want to be able to look back at 2015 to see exactly how much my strength has increased. I’ll start putting the weight amounts on my workout log.

 

Goal #7: Compete in at least one obstacle course/tactical race.

Why:

  1. To have FUN with friends.
  2. To say I did it!

Do I really need an explanation for wanting to complete a Spartan Race Super and/or a Tough Mudder?

 

Goal #8: Foam roll for at least 10 minutes every day.

Why: Benefits of foam rolling. 

P.S. I own a ProSource Ultra Deluxe Revolutionary Sports Medicine Roller.

 

Goal #9: Go to two yoga classes per week.

Why:

  1. Prevent injuries.
  2. Improve flexibility and balance.
  3. Maintain my sanity.

P.S. Read Pro Athletes Turn to Yoga.

 

Goal #10: Earn a 300 on the APFT.

Why:

  1. To earn the badge!
  2. To say I did it!

I’m SO close to maxing the test. <— I earned a 292 out of 300 on November’s test.

If I follow through on all of the aforementioned goals, there’s no reason I shouldn’t be able to earn a 300 by August.

P.S. You can train for the test, even if you’re not in the military, to assess and track your fitness progress.

 

Question:

  1. What are your 2015 fitness goals and why are you pursuing them?

 

Related HGG Posts:

Tips for Setting Realistic Fitness Goals in 2014

 

5-4-3-2-1 Total Body Blast Workout (strength, cardio and stretching)

5-4-3-2-1 Total Body Blast Workout (strength, cardio and stretching)

This red, white and blue workout is my attempt at making exercise patriotic in honor of America’s birthday this week. 
5-4-3-2-1 Total Body Blast Workout from Hungry Gator Gal (strength, cardio and stretching)

Can you see the firework bursting in the background? It’s how your muscles will feel (i.e. ready to burst) after doing strength training, cardio and stretching in under an hour.

‘Murica. 😉

Questions:

  1. How are you celebrating the Fourth of July?
  2. Do you work out on holidays? (I typically take the day off to spend time with family and friends.)

Related HGG Posts:

5-4-3-2-1 Lower Body Blast Workout

5-4-3-2-1 Lower Body Blast Workout from hungrygatorgal.com

Total Body Burnout Circuit Workout

Total Body Burnout Circuit Workout from Hungry Gator Gal

Total Body Superset Workout

Yoga Workout Playlist

Yoga Workout Playlist

I love EDM, pop and rock for cardio and strength training, but that music doesn’t exactly work when I’m trying to focus on my form and breath in yoga.

I created a playlist of my current favorite “zen”songs specifically for yoga workouts. The 30-song playlist includes a good mix of slow and upbeat songs.

You’ll find a graphic below for the playlist. Feel free to pin, save or print the list if you need relaxing music for your practice too.

P.S. If you know me well, you know I had to include a minimum of two John Mayer songs.  🙂

Below you’ll find the spotify playlist for fans of free streaming. You can find additional playlists like this one if you follow me (Brianna Kolota) on Spotify.

P.S. I pay $5 per month as a student to have access to a bazillion songs with zero ads. I have the ability to follow and make as many playlists as my heart desires. It’s TOTALLY worth the money. Ask for a Spotify Gift Card $30 (affiliate link!) for your b-day or a holiday. 🙂 
 

Let me know what you think of the playlist if you give it a listen. I’d love to know what you think!

Questions:

  1. Do you practice yoga? If so, what type? How often?
  2. What are some of your favorite relaxing, “zen”songs?

Related HGG Posts:

Basic 8 Leg Workout + Lower Body Stretches

Basic 8 Leg Workout from Hungry Gator Gal

Best Yoga Stretches for Stress Relief


From the Keep Calm-O-Matic 

Summer Sweat Playlist

Summer Sweat Playlist from Hungry Gator Gal

Best Yoga Stretches for Stress Relief

Best Yoga Stretches for Stress Relief

If you’re a student like me, the 33 Stages of Finals Week article on BuzzFeed pretty much describes your life right now. If you’re not in school, I’m sure the holidays in general are stressing you out.

Regardless of age, everyone should have a way to relieve stress. When I was in high school, I let the anxiety build up inside until I’d start crying. Not exactly the best way to cope if you ask me.

Since then, I’ve learned exercise is a great stress reliever, especially yoga. It allows me to stretch it out while clearing my mind, even if only for a few minutes of the day.


From the Keep Calm-O-Matic

I’ve been practicing for seven months and generally attend one group class per week. I’m so addicted at this point that I can feel tension building in my neck, lower back and hamstrings when I skip a week.

Anyway, I highly suggest you try a power yoga or vinyasa yoga class if you’re looking for a way to unplug. Seriously. Watching Netflix and staring at computer and phone screens all day will only make you more stressed.

Below you’ll find a list of my favorite yoga poses for stress relief. If you attend a class, ask the instructor to include the pose in your practice. If you can’t attend a class, simply do the poses individually or in a sequence on your own.

Click on the title of each pose to see how to perform the pose and learn what muscle(s) it stretches. Also, check out this complete guide to starting yoga from So Much Yoga if you’re brand new to practicing. Enjoy!

P.S. In case you’re wondering, my mental state is at No. 23 on the BuzzFeed article. 😉

Easy Pose with Neck Stretch 

Seated Spinal Twist 

Downward Facing Dog

Cat Pose

Pigeon Pose Fold 

Standing Forward Bend/Fold

Child’s Pose

Questions:

  1. Do you practice yoga?
  2. What’s your favorite yoga pose?

Related HGG Posts: 

Best At-Home Total Body Workouts for the Holidays
20-Minute Hotel Room Workout 

Weekly Workout Plan + Best Indoor Cycle/Spin Workouts  


https://i0.wp.com/fitfluential.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Solo-Spin-Tabata-1024x1024.jpg?resize=320%2C320

Girl Crush + Best Upper Body Workouts